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CALDWELL: THE FANS HAVE BEEN A HUGE PART OF IT

30 April 2016

Boss praises supporters after memorable season that has seen Latics win promotion to the Sky Bet Championship and all-but secure the Sky Bet League One title.

  • “We’re on the right track now,” says Gary Caldwell.
  • Boss praises players’ resilience over the course of the campaign.
  • Caldwell looking forward to taking the current crop into the Championship.
Wigan Athletic manager Gary Caldwell was delighted to give the fans a perfect reward for their sensational support this season as Latics won 4-0 on their final away day of the campaign at Blackpool on Saturday afternoon.

Goals from Chris McCann, Yanic Wildschut (2) and Will Grigg secured all three points Latics at Bloomfield Road and those points confirmed the club’s place in the Sky Bet Championship next season whilst also all-but securing this campaign’s Sky Bet League One title.

Reflecting post-match with LaticsPlayer HD, Caldwell heaped praise on the club’s supporters who have stuck with his side throughout the campaign.

“The fans have been a huge part of it,” Caldwell said. “They’ve had two very difficult years and as a fan you can become very disillusioned with your football club. 

“We’re hopefully on the right track now; it’s only the beginning of another journey back to the very top.

“I hope they stick with us next year, it’s going to be very difficult but the planning will start soon - probably on Tuesday rather than Monday with the celebrations – to be ready next season to really push on again.”

Memorable scenes followed the full-time whistle on the Seaside and Caldwell said afterwards that those are the moments you live for in football.

“I have said to the players for a number of weeks now that we won’t get this opportunity often,” he added.

“Graham Barrow was saying on the bench it has been 20 odd years since he has had it and he understands more than any of us how difficult it can be to get success in this game and you have to enjoy moments like today.”

Once again Latics showed their mental qualities as much as their physical and technical attributes to blow the Seasiders away in the second-half and Caldwell felt Saturday’s performance epitomised a lot of the season to date.

“If you want to successful, resilience is a massive quality and this team has shown that time and time again,” Caldwell explained. “Not only to come back from set-backs but also within games when they’ve been poor and gone behind and then come back.

“Today I think the boys would be the first to admit we were terrible in the first-half and could have been down but Jussi was a man and the defenders blocked their efforts and stood up to it.

“Then after half-time we came out like a different team and went on and won the game.

“We need that but we have also had quality and I think second-half we showed when we got the opportunities how we can kill a game off very quickly.”

Finally, Caldwell briefly looked ahead to next season’s Sky Bet Championship and admitted his excitement at taking this group of players to the next level.

“I experienced the Championship last year for five games with a team that was struggling down at the bottom of the league so I am looking forward to taking this group of players on because I believe in them,” he continued

“I believe in their potential to improve and I am looking forward to going up to the next level and being a team that can compete and be hard to play against and see where we can take this club.”

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