Boss looks back on positive week and gives account of defeat to Scottish Premiership side.
- Gary pleased with application and work rate after Scotland tour.
- “Quality needs to improve” – Caldwell.
- Max Power OK and Craig Davies’ 30-minute spell planned.
The former Scotland international watched on as his side finished their pre-season stay on the east coast with a 1-0 defeat against Scottish Premiership side Dundee, but he was pleased with the work he’s seen from his new group of players.
“I said to the players after the game that the attitude, the application and the work rate we put into the game was excellent,” he explained.
“We just lacked a little bit of quality and we need to keep working on that because it’s still not quite there.
“Overall, though, we’re very pleased after a tough week with two good games, really competitive games, and we’re a step closer to where we want to be for the start of the season.
“I think the team spirit grows on a tour like this; I think working every day with the players and seeing them not just on the training pitch but in the hotel as well helps.
“Seeing how they react to two high quality games in terms of the opposition and the threat that they pose is beneficial and then the fitness levels have gone up too so all in all it’s been a good week and we’re closer to where we want to be.”
Max Power worryingly exited the field after just 30 minutes at Dens Park and Craig Davies also just featured for the first half hour, though Caldwell had positive news on the former Tranmere man whilst striker Davies was only planned to feature in the early stages.
“Max Power is OK,” Caldwell said. “He took a bit of a knock on his ankle but he should be fine. It got a bit feisty out there, it was good to see we stood up to it, were willing to put our bodies into challenges and that shows we’re pretty close to where we want.
“The physios said we could give Craig Davies 30 minutes and I wanted to give him that from the start of the game alongside Will and I thought they did well together.”
Left back Andrew Taylor and midfielder Chris McCann took on central defensive roles alongside Donervon Daniels for Latics as Caldwell experiment with the versatility of his squad.
And it’s a squad he’s still hoping to add to:
“Andrew Taylor and Chris McCann did well as central defenders,” Caldwell added. “Chris has been excellent in both games in Scotland in that position and I asked Tayls to play in that position this morning, he’s experienced and he did it very well so there’s positives to take from that.
“I feel good about the group at the moment; I’d like to add to the team a little bit but overall I think the group is coming together and the application has been first class so if we keep that up we won’t be far away.”