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Match Previews


1 May 2015

Boss looks ahead to final assignment of 2014/15 season.

  • Caldwell “relishing the challenge” of next season.
  • Handful of young players to make trip to Griffin Park.
  • “Preparation for next season began on Tuesday night.” – Gary.
Wigan Athletic manager Gary Caldwell says he will use Saturday’s clash with Brentford as an opportunity to assess his options for the 2015-16 campaign with several young players set to travel and be involved.

Caldwell’s side are already relegated from the Sky Bet Championship and have switched their focus to preparing for next season.

And despite the expectation that changes will be made, Caldwell says the importance of winning the 12.15 kick-off with the Bees does not change.

“I want to win, I want to win every game I ever play whether it be training or a board game with the kids and Saturday is no different,” Caldwell explained.

“We’ll approach it in the same manner that we would if we still had a chance to stay in the league, albeit we might make changes and try different things.

“The message to the players, both today and tomorrow, is that we have to win this game. Brentford are obviously going for the play-offs and there are plenty of other teams that it could affect.

“Louis Robles is going to travel with us because we’ve obviously got a few injuries and suspensions, and hopefully we’ll get the opportunity to see different players and see the potential they have to bring to the squad.

“Sheyi Ojo and Jerome Sinclair have gone back to Liverpool and Jordan Flores and Matty Hamilton will travel as cover for them.”

On a week which saw the club mark Dave Whelan’s 20 years as Wigan Athletic chairman, Caldwell reflected on what was a special evening to mark the former chairman’s service to the club.

Adding that the optimism around the DW Stadium on Wednesday evening stood the club in good stead for next season:

“It was a great night for Mr. Whelan and he deserved that,” he added. “The relegation the night before made us a bit anxious on how the evening would go but I thought the fans were great, the night was great and it was a celebration of what has been a fantastic story for 20 years.

“He deserved that, there was a lot of positive talk of the club bouncing back and bouncing back quickly and I’m motivated to do that, to give everything, and I think the club is as well – the new chairman is going to back me and I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“We’ve got a long summer ahead of us in terms of recruitment but we’re ready for that and looking forward to it.”

On the playing side, Caldwell says a winning mentality has to be instilled into the club for next season and the fixture with Brentford provides the starting platform for that.

“I’m disappointed [to be relegated] but I’m relishing the challenge that’s now coming and as soon as the second goal went in at Rotherham my thoughts went straight to League One and planning to win League One,” Caldwell continued.

“I have been happy with the performances, with the attitude and the application of the players but not happy with results and that’s the one thing that we have to change next year.

“The whole club has to have a winning mentality, every day in training we have to develop that and work on that because we will be expected to win every single game and I will be expecting the players and myself to do that, so we have to change that mind-set and we will do that over the course of the summer.”

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