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Club News

CALDWELL’S MILLWALL REFLECTION

29 September 2015

Boss analyses 2-2 draw with the Lions as substitute Will Grigg earns Latics a late point at the DW Stadium.

  • Caldwell praises character as Grigg goal maintains home unbeaten run.
  • Jacobs “an outstanding player in a real good patch of form” after third goal of the season gave Latics the lead.
  • “Francisco Junior’s introduction gave us second-half energy.” – Gary.
Gary Caldwell was again left with mixed emotions after his side fought hard to earn a point in Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw with Millwall at the DW Stadium.

Caldwell watched on as Michael Jacobs’s opener was cancelled out by Fred Onyedinma and Mark Beevers goals, before substitute Will Grigg earned a point in stoppage time.

And the Scot admitted he was pleased with his side’s character as they extended their home unbeaten run to five games.

“I am obviously happy to get back into the game having gone 2-1 down with such a short amount of time left,” Caldwell said. “Again, the character in the team was fantastic, we could have won it after we equalised as well with the couple of opportunities we had. 

“There is a disappointment that, at 1-0, we didn’t capitalise on the game more because I thought we were in control again, we had some good play in the first half and some great stuff early in the second-half but then they make a change and we didn’t seem to be able to cope with that, and we need to be.

“It is strange because I felt their change gave us more opportunity and more space in the midfield to play and we just got sloppy, which invited them on to us and caused us to concede two poor goals.”

It was substitute Grigg who earned Latics the point as the former Walsall man fired home on his first appearance since picking up an elbow injury at Port Vale.

And Caldwell was full of praise for Grigg and fellow scorer Jacobs.

“Will has got good quality in the box and we have done well recently to score as many goals as we have with two big players like Will and Craig Davies out injured,” he added. “That shows to me the quality we have throughout the squad and it shows the ability the team has to cause teams problems.

“I thought we caused them loads of problems with our passing, we were incisive, we created opportunities down the left hand side a lot during the first-half and could have scored more.

“Michael is in a real good patch of form at the moment and scoring goals is something I have spoken to him about a lot; he is an outstanding player and he needs to add goals to his game and he is doing that now, he is a real threat.

“We are trying to play him higher up the pitch to give defenders problems because when he runs with the ball he is a nightmare to play against.”

Caldwell’s praise was also to midfielder Francisco Junior, who replaced Sean Murray at half-time in a tactical switch, with the on loan Everton man also appearing for the first time since his injury at Gillingham.

“Francisco did great when he came on,” Caldwell continued. “I just felt we needed more energy in midfield and to be a bit more penetrative with our passes forward and I thought he gave us that.

“He got us up the pitch quickly with the strikers and really got them on the back foot. At times in the first-half I felt we were too safe in possession but after half time we got at them quicker and got our goal. It is just disappointing that after their changes we didn’t continue to play in that way.”

Caldwell also confirmed in his post-match assessment that Jason Pearce wasn’t in the squad due to a medial ligament strain which will keep the former Leeds man out for a couple of weeks.

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