Boss pleased as Sky Bet League One unbeaten run stretches to eleven games with fifth consecutive DW Stadium clean sheet.
- Caldwell praises his team’s character to come through difficult Shrewsbury test.
- Goal-scorer Alex Revell’s all-round performance “outstanding”.
- Michael Jacobs injury to be assessed after midfielder goes off in the first-half.
Caldwell saw his side struggle to match the fluidity and rhythm they found in wins over Scunthorpe United and Colchester United earlier this season, though his side battled hard and also secured their fifth consecutive DW Stadium clean sheet.
“I said before the game that there are no easy games in this league,” Caldwell said. “It proved to be the case again because Shrewsbury came with a plan; they came to frustrate, they got in our faces, made tackles and were awkward to play against.
“We got a very good goal in the first-half and I thought that would settle us down but second-half our passing was poor, we didn’t get any rhythm and, as a result, they put us under a lot of pressure. We showed fantastic character, though, to get another clean sheet and another big win.
“We restricted them to shots from distance really – they had the one where Kaikai forced Jussi [Jaaskelainen] into a good save – but we kept them out of our box on the whole and, whilst we gave up a lot of possession in midfield, we defended our box well. The frustration was that we couldn’t have been more clinical and finished the game off at times when we broke in numbers on the counter.”
Revell, who signed on loan from Cardiff City until January just over a week ago, headed home the game’s only goal just after the half hour mark and Caldwell was pleased with the 32-year-old’s performance.
“You need that first goal as a striker,” he added. “With Alex it is not just his goals; with him it is his work rate, the way he holds the ball up and brings other people into the game. He’s got experience, he leads the line well so I am delighted he got the goal but his all-round performance was outstanding.”
Caldwell made two changes to the side that won at Rochdale last weekend, with Chris McCann and Tim Chow returning to the starting XI, and the Scot was pleased with the returning pair.
“I thought they were excellent; at home we want to control the game more and Chris gives us that with his quality from the back,” Caldwell explained. “Tim came in with Donald Love being injured at right back and that position is up for grabs whilst that remains the case.
“Tim never lets you down; I thought he was great with his work ethic, his desire to win the ball and stop crosses and do the ugly side of the game.”
The only sour note of the afternoon was an injury picked up by Michael Jacobs in the first-half, and Caldwell will wait and see the situation with the former Wolves man, who – along with David Perkins and Reece James – is one of just three league ever-presents for Latics.
“Michael took a bang on the knee,” Caldwell said. “We’re not sure how serious it is but he was struggling to come back on so that’s the one negative of the day because he is a big player for us.”