Boss praises mentality as Latics make it 20 unbeaten after fifth consecutive victory, with Tony Mowbray’s Coventry City on the wrong side of a 1-0 score-line.
- Gary Caldwell says his Latics players looked like “winners” in 1-0 victory over Coventry City at the DW Stadium.
- Caldwell pleased his side dealt with the Sky Blues’ counter-attacking threat.
- Praise for striker Will Grigg as he made it 20 league goals with game’s only goal.
Reflecting post-match with LaticsPlayerHD, Caldwell admitted his delight at how his side dealt with the occasion as Latics edged closer to promotion back to the Championship.
“I thought we were excellent today and our approach to the game was good,” Caldwell said. “When you are top of the league you have to have a mentality to the game and we did, we looked like winners today.
“We are now a team that can be patient, that can go side-to-side and when we penetrate we look dangerous.
“I think we can still be more ruthless and I think in the last 15 or 20 minutes we had great opportunities to go and kill the game off and that’s the one negative from the game that we still have that tendency to waste too many chances and we can’t afford to keep doing that.”
After almost an hour of knocking on the Coventry City door, Latics finally broke through and Will Grigg was the man to convert from close for the only goal of the game and his 20th in the league this season.
Caldwell praised the goal itself and the Northern Ireland international, who could have had a second but for Reice Charles-Cook saving his penalty in the second-half.
“I thought it was a fantastic goal,” Caldwell added. “It was really well-worked as Barney [Leon Barnett] stepped in from centre-half and we played nice passes around the box before we cut them open and got a great cut-back from Stephen [Warnock] for Will who was where he always is in the middle of the box to put the ball in the net.
“Will has been fantastic; whenever you sign a striker and pay a bit of money for him, he is always going to be judged on his goals.
His all-round play is excellent, though, he links the game, works hard for us and, after he took time to get going in the early season, he has started to score goals for us and show how dangerous he is whenever the ball comes across the box.
“The penalty was at a stage of the game that, had it gone in, we could have gone on and won by more because we were really on top and taking the game to them.
“The keeper made a really good save, though, and I thought we dealt with it really well because that can be a big negative on the team and we didn’t let it be, we controlled the game far better than we did against Rochdale here.”
Latics had to be patient to get their goal at the DW once more, and Caldwell was pleased with how side dealt with a Coventry side that beat us back in August on the opening day of the season.
“I said yesterday that I felt Coventry are an awkward team to play against,” he explained. “I know the manager well and he is a very clever manager who sets his team up well and I knew they would be well-drilled.
“They lived up to that and I think they played similarly to how they played in the first game of the season and tried to put up a defensive wall and force us to make mistakes in the middle of the park and then counter.
“We found that out [Coventry’s ability to break] on the first day of the season, much to our cost, and I thought we dealt with it much better today, we understood what they were trying to do but we looked after the ball well, didn’t create a great deal but in the second-half the tempo of our passing went up and we caused them a lot more problems from that.”