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Club News

CALDWELL REFLECTS ON SOUTHEND STALEMATE

28 November 2015

Boss content with point in difficult conditions at Roots Hall as Latics remain in Sky Bet League One’s top six.

  • “Point probably a fair result” – Caldwell.
  • Manager says five changes down to injuries and need to freshen up after busy week.
  • Praise for Leon Barnett on his return to the starting XI.
Gary Caldwell was left to reflect on a hard-fought point as Leon Barnett went close on three occasions on a windy afternoon on the coast at Southend United.

Neither side could break the deadlock and, despite Barnett twice seeing efforts cleared off the line and his late effort hitting the bar, both sides had chances with Ryan Leonard hitting the bar for the hosts in the first-half.

Caldwell felt conditions weren’t conducive to the way he would like his side to play, though he praised how his side defended and admitted he was content with a point.

“Conditions made it very difficult for good football to be played by both teams,” Caldwell explained. “I thought it was competitive with two teams really trying to push to win the game and we could have won it at the end but at the same time we had to defend well because they put us under a lot of pressure.

“All in all, I think both teams have to settle for a point and consider it a fair result.”

Barnett, who was making his first league start since last month’s 1-1 draw at Bradford City, impressed on his return and Caldwell praised the impact of the defender, who celebrates his 30th birthday on Monday.

“We knew we could be a threat from set-pieces and it proved to be the case,” he said. “We had great opportunities from them, especially the one at the death where we hit the bar – if it was a foot lower and we win the game.

“Whenever Barney plays it is eventful; he puts his head on the ball in both boxes and I thought he defended well, especially in the first-half when they put that pressure on our box and that made for a positive clean sheet.”

Caldwell made five changes from Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat at Burton Albion with Yanic Wildschut – who travelled to Southend yesterday and watched on from the stands after pulling out from the squad on Saturday morning – and Craig Morgan missing out due to injury whilst Tim Chow, David Perkins and Michael Jacobs returned to the bench.

Jacobs and Perkins came on in the game in Essex, with the latter replacing Chris McCann who picked up a first-half groin injury and the former replacing Will Grigg and impressing in a second-half appearance.

“Some of the changes were forced due to injury and the others we made, we felt we just needed to freshen it up with the three games in a week and I thought the boys that come in put in a great shift and worked really hard,” Caldwell added. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t get going in the game with our football and the wind played a part in us struggling to find our rhythm with our passing.

“Yanic has just been struggling with his hamstrings; it is nothing serious but we spoke to him yesterday and on Saturday morning and he just felt he wouldn’t be 100% and we didn’t want to take any chances.

“We’ve got a big squad that we have to use and I thought Michael Jacobs in particularly came on and gave us a spark when he drifted past a few of their players with ease.”

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