Gary looks ahead to Latics’ first fixture of 2016.
- Gary Caldwell previews Scunthorpe v Latics.
- Manager discusses Kellett and Hiwula impacts.
- The latest on the future of Yanic Wildschut.
GARY ON AWAY FORM
Latics supporters enjoying Monday's 3-1 win at Fleetwood.
“We’ve been playing well and the two away victories make for a perfect way to head into 2016.
“We had a sticky run and had to do something to get back on track, which we have done by showing determination and desire to record two very good away performances with results to match.
“We’re confident away from home now though, we struggled on the road at the start of the season, but we’ve found a way to win those games now and we’re looking forward to testing ourselves again 2at Scunthorpe.
“We were a new team coming together with excellent home form, but we couldn’t get it right away from home. As a group we’ve stuck together and worked hard to make sure we get more away wins, because they’ll count for a lot in terms of our goals for the season.
“We want to continue that at home as well to keep cutting the gap on the top teams.”
GARY ON SCUNTHORPE UNITED
“It’s going to be a difficult game, they’re a team who went on a very good run a few months ago and at home they’re very organised.
“They’re hard to break down and we’ll have to work very hard to get what we want from the game.
“It’s another tough fixture in a very tough league. Fleetwood provided us with a really stern test on Saturday which we came through, and hopefully we can do the same again.
“The one thing I have noticed in this league honesty and the effort that every player from every team puts in has been phenomenal.
“It’s great to see that, and that’s the reason it’s such a competitive division.”
GARY ON YANIC WILDSCHUT
Yanic celebrates his goal at Barnsley earlier this month.
“It’s down to Midlesbrough. We’ve signalled our intention that we want to keep him and that he wants to stay.
“He’s done great for the club and we’ve provided him a home where he can show off his talent and play as well as he has done.
“It’s in Middlesbrough’s hands from now on and hopefully Yanic can have a game on Saturday and finish off his loan spell with the club by showing what he has done for the majority of his time here.
“He’s been a real attacking threat for us and a joy to have at the club, and the fans can show their appreciation to him on Saturday.”
GARY ON KELLETT AND HIWULA IMPACTS
Jordy celebrates putting Latics 2-1 up against Fleetwood.
“I’ve said all along that it’s a team game, and when I say team I mean the squad as a whole, not just the 11 players on the pitch.
“Everyone has to contribute, and the boys like Andy Kellett and Jordy Hiwula who have been given chances recently have applied themselves exactly how we would expect.
“Jordy’s been fantastic since he came to the club. He had a spell when he had a run in the team because of injuries.
“He played on his own and did well, but I think he’s somebody who prefers to play with a strike partner.
“Whenever I ask him to come on and give me something he does exactly that. His goal ratio is phenomenal in terms of goals to starts; he’s somebody who I really value having at the club.
“He’ll have to keep working hard for that starting place.
Andy on target for the second game in a row against Fleetwood.
“Andy’s had to work really hard physically to get to the level he’s at now. The position he’s playing in has certainly helped him because it allows him to show off his attributes, like his quick feet and his ability to retain possession.
“He’s popped up with two goals in his first two league starts, which is a great return considering he’s in a new position.”
GARY ON SQUAD STRENGTH AND GRANT HOLT
“We had a friendly game against Everton on Wednesday which we drew 0-0 with a lot of first team players involved, they showed great appetite for the game.
“They were excellent and showed great desire to get on the ball and do the right things, with some of them in my mind for Saturday because of that.
“Everyone is fighting to get into the team and we’re going to need that competition to get us through the long months as the season progresses. Squads can get stretched, and we’ll need everyone to stand up and be counted.
“Grant Holt played 45 minutes after returning from his loan at Wolves and looked great in the second half. He looked fit and hungry to play. It’s important to have him back because he’s an experience character who knows how to get promotion.”