Boss reflects on two-goal comeback at Gigg Lane.
- Caldwell disappointed not to win but praises effort, energy and character.
- Boss frustrated not to be awarded first-half penalty as Chris McCann looked to be brought down in the area.
- Praise for captain Craig Morgan who earned Caldwell’s side a point at Bury.
Latics manager Gary Caldwell admitted his side should have won once again after a fourth consecutive Sky Bet League One draw, this time at local rivals Bury.
Caldwell was left to reflect on a dramatic comeback as a Nathan Cameron own goal and Craig Morgan strike in the final five minutes earned a 2-2 draw in a game that saw Latics create multiple opportunities and see a strong first-half penalty appeal turned down.
Assessing the contest, Caldwell said:
“I’m disappointed not to win again, as are the players and the staff, because it is a game we should have won.
“We can’t defend our box the way we did; we had three corners to deal with first-half, a few crosses second-half and we can’t concede two goals from those opportunities.
“The last four games we have drawn and I firmly believe we should have won all four and today was no different. We had the penalty incident involving Chris McCann in the first-half, the referee says there is contact but it is not a penalty and I find to be a strange analysis of it and second-half Tim’s chance just squirms across the line. There were opportunities to win it but it wasn’t to be, we move on, work hard this week and we will be better next week.”
Latics enjoyed 58% of the possession at Gigg Lane and had 18 shots in comparison to the six the hosts had.
And Caldwell says his side’s dominance will be turned into wins with some fine tuning of their performances.
“We controlled the game, we were brave in possession, we showed the quality we have but I feel we could have had more attacking threat in the first-half, we didn’t have enough in the box,” he added. “In the second half, when we had to chase the game more, we put more bodies forward and showed what a good team we are and with the opportunities we created we could have scored three or four in the final ten or fifteen minutes.
“We can control games, we have shown that; teams are struggling to contain our possession football but we know we need to brush up on our defending, and we need to be more ruthless when we are attacking.
“It is coming, though, and I am very proud of the players again for their effort, their energy and their character because that is not in question, we just need to keep working, brush up on a few things and we will start winning games quickly.”
Caldwell also reserved special praise for his captain Morgan who secured a point for his side with a cool finish in the final minute of normal time whilst Grant Holt was applauded for his impact from the bench.
“It was a great finish from Craig; he took his touch calmly and put it away and I think we need that composure in both boxes from everyone – that’s where the game is won and lost,” Caldwell explained. “Grant Holt gave us a presence in the middle of the pitch and we needed that for the last 20 or 25 minutes.
“When we put balls in the box, we looked more likely to score when he was on the pitch.”
And finally Caldwell was ecstatic with the backing his side received in Greater Manchester as over 1,600 made the trip and backed their team.
“The fans were fantastic again,” he added. “I said before the game that we need to give them something because they are coming in such heavy numbers on the road every week and, whilst it wasn’t a win, I think they see a team full of character, playing for the club and for them.”