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Match Previews

GARY CALDWELL’S BOXING DAY PREVIEW

23 December 2015

Gary looks ahead to the visit of Sheffield United.

  • Gary Caldwell previews ‘exciting’ Boxing Day clash with Sheffield United.
  • Barnsley result ‘just what we needed’ to get back on track.
  • Gary discusses Junior, Revell and Wildschut.
Speaking to Latics PlayerHD at Christopher Park ahead of Boxing Day’s clash with Sheffield United at the DW Stadium, Latics’ boss Gary Caldwell spoke of his delight off the back of Saturday’s win at Barnsley, his excitement ahead of the post-Christmas fixtures, and the futures of a number of players currently on loan at the club.

GARY ON… VICTORY AT BARNSLEY



“It was important to get the win and get us back on track, it was just what we needed.  Now we’re looking forward to the festive fixtures, they come thick and fast and we have to be completely prepared for every single game to get maximum points.

“Looking back at Barnsley I’m really happy.  The first half performance was one of our best this season, we should have been more in front than we were from the opportunities we created, and that’s something again we’re working hard to improve on.

“Our general play was back to what we know it can be, and then in the second half we showed that character we’ve had all season to grind the result out when Barnsley put us under pressure.

“Yanic came on and did a great job to get us the second goal to make things a little more comfortable in the end.  Overall, I couldn’t be happier with all parts of our game.”

GARY ON… ANDY KELLETT IMPACT



“We worked on a lot of different attacking overloads in different areas of the pitch.

“I thought about Andy as a midfielder, but Graham (Barrow) suggested playing him higher up because of his ability to run at people and his quick feet.

“He showed that against Barnsley and he showed he can finish too, so it’s something I think he can do on a regular basis. He can be a real threat, I know as a defender that you don’t want players like him running at you with the speed that he’s got.

“Andy could be a real find for us in that area of the field.”

GARY ON… JUNIOR, REVELL AND WILDSCHUT LOANS



“Francisco (Junior) is back at Everton for their medical team to assess him, so we’ll be in contact with them regularly to see how he’s progressing.

“He’s someone with tremendous quality and who I believe can still make a good contribution, but we’ll have to keep monitoring the situation.

“Alex (Revell) found it difficult being away from his family.  He gave us everything he could and he was a fantastic guy to have around the place.

“We tried to help him in every way that we could by giving him extra days off so that he could deal with his situation, but I’m disappointed to lose him because I think he brought something to the group both on and off the pitch.

“Some of our loan players are here until the end of the season and some until January.  They are ongoing situations which we’ll keep an eye on and look closely at when the time comes.

“Yanic is here until January 2.  We’re speaking to Middlesbrough and it’s an ongoing situation, so when something gets sorted we’ll make sure the supporters are the first to know.”

GARY ON… BOXING DAY PREPARATIONS FOR SHEFFIELD UNITED



“The players have been great this week, they’re continuing to work hard in a busy period of successive matches.

“We’re keeping training down a little to make sure the boys are fresh for both games, but their standards won’t drop that’s for sure.

“It’s a big fixture on the calendar.  We’re both clubs with big aspirations to get back up into the Championship.

“It’s a great game for Boxing Day and I’m sure they’ll bring a big following, the same as I’m sure our supporters will turn out in good numbers.

“The fancy dress in the stands always adds to the atmosphere, it’s a tradition for the town and I’ve seen our fans travel across the country like that over the years.

“It’s a boost to the players to see the fans enjoying themselves at the game, I hope they can turn out in good numbers and enjoy the afternoon.  I want us to give them something to celebrate afterwards.”

GARY ON… BEING A MANAGER AT CHRISTMAS

“It’s different being a manager around Christmas time, I seem to have so much more to do than when I was a player.

“I’ve got to admit, I haven’t bought any presents yet, which is a bit of a worry at this moment in time.

“As much as I’m busy with my job, I’ve got a job to do at home as well with my three children who deserve to be treated at Christmas.

“When the time comes I’ll be there to do that, but my main focus is getting three points on Boxing Day and kicking on and making sure that we go into the New Year with momentum to take us where we want to be.

“Players know to just get on with things at Christmas, we were discussing it earlier and I’ve never had Christmas Day off, apart from last year when I was injured.

“It’s just part of your job, you get on with it because there are people doing a lot tougher things and we’ve got to be thankful that we’re coming in to play football and then going home to spend the day with our families.

“It’s important that we remain professional and we make sure we get our job done on Boxing Day.”

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