Manager pleased as his side progress to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Area semi-finals at the expense of Blackpool.
- “Delighted with the response,” says Caldwell.
- Praise for goal-scorers Jordy Hiwula, Sean Murray and Yanic Wildschut.
- Impressive performance gives tough selection dilemma for Saturday’s trip to Rochdale.
With Craig Davies the only survivor from Saturday’s 4-0 defeat at Bury in the Emirates FA Cup, a Jordy Hiwula double and goals from Sean Murray and Yanic Wildschut ensured Latics edged closer to Wembley and got back to winning ways.
After an indifferent start to what was an initially slow-paced game, Caldwell’s men got the job done against the Tangerines and afterwards he was very pleased.
“It was a fantastic response to the disappointment we suffered on Saturday,” Caldwell said. “The boys that played on Saturday came in on Sunday with a real hunger and a real desire to do well but I gave an opportunity to some players that haven’t had much of a chance of late.
“They deserved that opportunity to go and play and they didn’t let me down; they showed the quality they have, the strength we have in the squad and it was great to see, the win was thoroughly deserved.
“When you make that many changes, it is going to take a little bit of time to gel but I still like the way they played; they carried on the way we’ve been playing all season and it showed that the work we’re doing in training is paying off and that the players are working hard to get that right.
“It took a little bit of time for the midfield players and the strikers to get that understanding but when they did we created numerous opportunities and could have been leading more at half-time but once the second went in, it was pretty comfortable.”
Striker Hiwula bagged his fourth and fifth goals in just ten Latics appearances and Caldwell was pleased with the on-loan Huddersfield Town man’s impact whilst Murray also pleased his boss with his first Latics goal.
“Jordy’s goals were great,” he added. “He made some great movements for the team and, again, for him it is just that understanding of when to run behind, when to come short and the other players making the right pass for him.
“Sean improved as the game went on and it was a fantastic strike for his goal; he’s a fantastic talent, he’s got so much ability and it is just a case of getting that out of him in matches.”
Wildschut replaced Craig Davies midway through the second-half as the former Wales international continued his recovery from injury, and the Dutch forward also made a positive impact on his manager.
“We wanted to manage Craig’s game time because he’s only just back from injury and to have Yanic on the bench was a great asset to have,” Caldwell continued. “I thought he had his zip, pace and hunger for the game back after a couple of games in which he has been rested. He scored a fantastic goal and that was good to see as well.”
Caldwell stated that his side will continue to aim to win the competition and, regardless of the changes he made, said his players have given him a pleasant selection dilemma ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet League One clash at Rochdale.
“As I said at Crewe, we’re taking this competition very seriously and we want to take our fans back to Wembley and give them another day they can remember,” he explained. “That was the intention from the outset and I thought the boys showed that with their performance and the eventual result.
“I hoped players would take their opportunities in these games and I think every available player in the squad has had an opportunity. The ones that have done well have given me a tough selection dilemma for Saturday but that’s a good thing for myself and the coaching staff.”