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Match Previews


11 December 2015

McCann and Love doubts ahead of Blackpool clash, with Morgan and McNaughton still injured.

  • McCann, Morgan and McNaughton out with injury, Love to be assessed.
  • More goals to come from Grigg after impressive Barnsley performance.
  • Manager hopes supporters can give Boyce good reception.
Speaking to Latics PlayerHD ahead of Latics’ Sky Bet League One clash with Blackpool at the DW Stadium on Saturday, manager Gary Caldwell sat down at Christopher Park to give his match preview, with early team news and more...


Chris McCann set to miss out after injury at Southend United.

“Chris McCann is still struggling from his groin strain, he was close, but he’s not quite made it.

“Donald Love hasn’t had a lot of training, so we’ll have to assess him and see whether he can start the game or have a place on the bench.

“It’s great to have Donald, and I think when we’ve seen him play he’s shown his quality.

“He’s great on the ball and he’s been showing that in training this week, so it’s great to have extended his loan, he can be a real asset for us.

“Morgs (Craig Morgan) is still injured, but apart from that everybody is ready and available.

“Reece James picked up a knock on Saturday against Barnsley, but he’s fine and he’s been training since Tuesday, so he’s ready and available for selection as well.”


Will Grigg and Craig Davies celebrate against Barnsley.

“I think we’ve got great options, and the link-up between Craig Davies and Will Grigg for our second goal against Barnsley really impressed me.

“We’ve not had too many opportunities to see them both playing together because of injuries and Will’s international duty, but they showed in limited time what they can do.

“Will was probably the biggest positive of last weekend.  I thought it was his best performance for us by far, he worked very hard for the team and linked up play well.

“He got two goals that he’s renowned for, moving well in the six yard box to put himself in front of defenders and being where all good strikers should be.

“To have him in that kind of form will be a big boost for us, we know he can score goals when he gets the opportunities.  He’s scored eight goals in what has been a stop-start season for him, so I’m sure he’ll score a lot more from now until the end of the season.”


Celebrations from Latics' 4-0 win against Blackpool in the JPT.

“I hope the score is the same as last time, but every game is different.

“Blackpool are fighting for their lives at the bottom and they made changes on the night we played them in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, so I expect the team to be a lot different from then.

“We’ve found that every game is difficult and in this league you have to fight for everything.  If you want to win a game you have to play well, but first and foremost you have to match the work rate and endeavour of your opposition.


Gary Caldwell and Emmerson Boyce at Christopher Park last season.

“Boycey is a legend at this club and it will be good for the supporters to welcome him back if he plays or if he’s on the bench, I’m sure they’ll give him a fantastic reception, because he deserves that for the effort he put in over the years and the success he had here at this club.

“He’ll always be welcome back here, so hopefully the fans can give him a good reception.”


Jason Pearce set to lead Latics out, with Craig Morgan injured.

“I think everyone has to stand up and be counted now.  This is a part of the season that can start to define the whole season.  This period, and the end of the season are about pushing on and achieving our goals.

“We’ve put ourselves in a good position heading into the Christmas period.  It’s a big month for us and we know we’ve got to pick up as many points as possible and kick on into the New Year.

“All captains have that responsibility every day, whether they’re playing or injured.  Craig is working extremely hard every day in the gym, and when he comes back he’ll be fit and ready to play, I’ve got no doubt about that because of the type of person he is.

“Having the likes of Pearcey (Jason Pearce), Barney (Leon Barnett) and Don Cowie about the place is also great, because we then have that leadership quality on the pitch.

“They set the standards for the group to follow and it’s going to be really important for us to have that from now until the end of the season.”

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