Boss reflects on extraordinary afternoon as Latics come from behind to win 3-2 at Chesterfield.
- Caldwell praises desire and character as his side register first away points of the season.
- Manager pleased with effect of changes as McCann, Hiwula and Kellett all make impact off the bench.
- “Hopefully the fans will remember that for a long, long time.” – Caldwell.
An ecstatic Gary Caldwell was full of superlatives for his team as they came from two goals down to earn their first away points of the season in Sky Bet League One at Chesterfield on Saturday afternoon.
Speaking to LaticsPlayer HD, Caldwell was delighted with his side’s character as Leon Barnett, Craig Davies and Jordy Hiwula scored in the final ten minutes to secure the win after Dan Gardner and a Barnett own goal have given the Spireites the lead.
“I said to the boys afterwards that the desire, the willingness to keep going and pushing was phenomenal,” he explained. “Any successful team needs that to go through a season because it’s not always going to go your own way
“Because of the start to the season - losing two games away from home 2-0 – to be the same score-line down and come back, mentally, it makes it an even bigger achievement that we’ve managed to do that.”
Caldwell was left scratching his head midway through the second-half as a performance that saw multiple clear-cut opportunities created but denied by Tommy Lee in the Chesterfield goal, was heading for defeat as Gardner curled in and Barnett diverted into his own goal.
“It was a thrilling game, I thought we played very well in the first-half and should have been in front,” Caldwell continued. “Then in the second-half we have a crazy ten minutes where they score a wonderful first and get a crazy own goal and you find yourselves 2-0 down in a game that you should be winning.
“We had some great opportunities in the first-half; I thought Haris [Vuckic] and Craig [Davies] developed an understanding, Michael [Jacobs] caused them problems and we worked a lot on that in the week and, but for their keeper, we would have had a good lead in the game.
“That’s probably the lesson we have to learn; to be more ruthless and take the opportunities.”
Caldwell was also pleased with how his substitutes made an impact on the game, especially after the introduction of Andy Kellett following the initial introduction of Chris McCann and Jordy Hiwula, who scored the winner.
“In the second-half we made changes and I thought the boys were brilliant in the way that they pushed on to win the game,” he continued.
“It’s pleasing when it comes off, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and I thought the first changes that we made didn’t quite get into the game quick enough and we had a spell where we struggled.
“We went to 4-4-2 when Andy Kellett came on and that gave us pace on the wing, width in the game and that caused them problems.”
Jubilant scenes followed Hiwula’s winner as the best part of 1,000 Wigan Athletic supporters erupted when the on-loan Huddersfield striker prodded home.
And Caldwell said he hopes the fans will remember the win for a long time.
“The fans were brilliant behind the goal,” Caldwell added. “They backed us right to the end and hopefully they’ve got something that they can remember for a long, long time.
“Hopefully that will give us impetus to go to Port Vale next week and put a run together.”