Latics boss pleased with contribution of loan pair as Hiwula double and Wildschut cracker seals Johnstone’s Paint Trophy progress.
- “Devastating” Wildschut strike seals 3-2 victory at Gresty Road.
- Caldwell praises his side for “answering the questions asked of them” in Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win.
- Jordy Hiwula praised for performance as he makes it three goals in eight appearances since joining on loan from Huddersfield Town.
Hiwula scored twice whilst Wildschut bagged an unstoppable 25-yard drive for the winner on his first start after joining on loan from Middlesbrough.
Reflecting afterwards with LaticsPlayerHD, Caldwell said:
“It was a devastating hit from Yanic to win it and I thought he was excellent all night; he is a threat, he has got pace, he has got power and, if we can get the ball to him in the right areas, he showed tonight glimpses of what he can do. His goal was fantastic, a great goal to win the game.
“It is brilliant for us and for Jordi that he got two goals tonight; again, I thought he was excellent. On Saturday I took him off at half-time and tonight he responded in the right manner with a fantastic performance.
He showed what he can do, caused a threat with his movement in the channels, caused problems by dropping off and got his goals at the right time.”
Progress means Latics are now unbeaten in five with two victories dissected by three consecutive draws, but Latics did it the hard way in south Cheshire, coming from behind twice, and Caldwell praised his side’s character once again.
“I am really happy to go through; I thought we were excellent from the first minute,” he explained. “We signalled our intent, our wide men got after them and caused problems, which won us the penalty. We were disappointed that didn’t go in and then we gave ourselves problems in terms of the goals we conceded but we kept responding, kept answering the questions, and it was a great win in the end.”
Caldwell said afterwards that Chris McCann was replaced by Don Cowie early in the first half as a precaution with the Irish midfielder sustaining a groin injury which will be assessed this week.
And, although he was naturally disappointed to see one of his most reliable players pick up a knock, Caldwell was boosted by the return of Cowie and Grant Holt from the bench, the pair making their first appearances of the season with Holt featuring for Latics for the first time in 14 months.
“I put Don and Grant on the bench in the hope that they could get some game time,” he added. “Don obviously got more than we thought he would and then Grant came on and gave us a real lift; he held the ball up well, looked fit and showed his quality by bringing other people into the game and helped us get the win.”
Crewe defender George Ray sustained a serious head injury in the second-half and, after receiving treatment on the pitch, the Welsh youth international was taken to Leighton Hospital where he received treatment for an injured cheekbone.
And Caldwell passed on his best wishes to the young defender.
“Any time a player goes down with a head injury, and there is a long stoppage, you are worried for them so fingers crossed he is OK.”