“It’s a special competition without a doubt.” – Gary Caldwell looks ahead to the FA Cup.
- Latics travel to Bury in Emirates FA Cup first round.
- Gary Caldwell talks: Bury, team news, the FA Cup and David Perkins.
- Shaq Coulthirst returns to Tottenham Hotspur after loan ends.
“It’s a special competition without a doubt. Whenever the FA Cup gets mentioned, everyone associated with this club remembers that great day back in 2013 and also our great defence of the trophy the following season when we got back to Wembley Stadium for the semi-final and unfortunately got beat on penalties by the eventual winners.
“We’ll always be associated with the FA Cup and it’s a competition that we respect immensely and will always look forward to competing in. Hopefully we can have another run for the fans to enjoy.
“I’ve played in a few FA Cup games throughout my career, but I didn’t manage to play in any of the games when we won the competition, but I was on the bench for the semi-final and the final.
Gary, Ben Watson and Shaun Maloney with the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium in 2013.
“Even to be involved in the squad and win it was a great feeling and it was a fantastic achievement for a club like ours to go and win such a world-renowned competition.
“It’s one of the highlights in my career without a doubt.”
GARY ON… TEAM NEWS
“We want to enjoy every game we play, but we can only enjoy games if we’re playing well and winning and that’s how we want to progress in the cup.
“We’ve been enjoying games recently and this game is an opportunity to use our squad a bit.
“We’ve got a lot of players who have been working very hard to get in the team, so it’s an opportunity for us to give them a chance, but whatever team we put on the park will be very competitive and ready to win a game of football.
“We haven’t got any injuries, we’ve got a full squad, but Sanmi (Odelusi) is still recovering from a foot injury and Kevin (McNaughton) is obviously long term.
“It’s a full squad to pick from and as I’ve said in the last few weeks, it’s a difficult thing to do because so many players are playing well in training and games.
“We no longer have Shaq (Shaquile Coulthirst) available to us as he has returned to Tottenham Hotspur after his loan ended.
Shaq Coulthirst made two substitute appearances during his loan spell.
“He’s got a very bright future ahead of him and it’s been unfortunate that his time with us has been interrupted by injury.
“Every day in training his attitude and his application have been first class, and he’s been a pleasure to work with.”
GARY ON… BURY TEST AND LESSONS LEARNED
“Bury are a very good team, they put you under pressure and you have to defend set pieces.
“They like to put the ball in the box and the last game we didn’t deal with that, we paid the price and we didn’t win the game because of it. We have to be ready for that challenge, but as with every game this season we have to impose our style and go and try and win the game with positive football.
“We know what the mistakes were from our last meeting with Bury, we know exactly what went wrong in that game to stop us from winning, and we have to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again.
“We played very well in the game and it showed what our style was and how much we can control games, but we have to be better defensively this time around if we want to win.”
GARY ON… DAVID PERKINS’ CONTRACT EXTENSION
“Perks (David Perkins) was the first signing we made and somebody I had played against in the past.
“Graham (Barrow) and Mike (Pollitt) had known him well from seeing him through his career and we knew exactly what he would bring to the club. He was an easy signing to make and since he’s been here he’s been a revelation.
“He’s worked extremely hard, he’s shown his quality on the ball, he’s played every minute of every league game.
“I spoke to the chairman and said we need to reward players like David who are doing well for the club. It was great to do and it shows the rest of the squad that if they are playing well then the club will reward them.
Perkins in action against Bury at Gigg Lane last month.
“He’s somebody that I’m very happy to have at the club for another year.
“His approach to the game and his character is exactly how I had envisioned my team to be built upon. A big reason why I signed him was because of his character, I knew he was a good footballer, but it was his attitude that attracted me to sign him.
“He’s brought his work-ethic and attitude to training every day and into every game, he’s surprised me with how good a footballer he is to be honest.
“I’m surprised he hasn’t played at a higher level in his career, he’s shown a great composure on the ball and a diverse range of passing, and I think he’s really enjoying his football at the moment.”