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Match Previews

GARY CALDWELL PREVIEWS SEASON OPENER AT BRISTOL CITY

5 August 2016

Caldwell expecting ‘difficult league’ ahead of season kick off.

  • Gary Caldwell previews Latics’ clash with ‘organised’ Bristol City.
  • “Further additions likely before the end of the transfer window.”- Caldwell.
  • Caldwell left frustrated due to injuries ‘out of our control’.
Speaking to Latics PlayerHD ahead of Latics’ return to the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday 6 August at Bristol City, manager Gary Caldwell explained what he expects to face against the Robins, and from the division on the whole.

GARY ON… CHAMPIONSHIP RETURN

“Pre-season being over has got us excited for Saturday because it’s the return of a high pressure and high energy type of game.

“We’re really looking forward to taking this group of players into that environment for the first time.

“I’m very happy to come into the Championship with this group of players.  When I got the job it was under difficult circumstances with a group of players that wasn’t my own.

“This time I’m going into it with players that I trust and players that I believe in, and who I believe can bring success to this club.”

GARY ON… ‘DIFFICULT LEAGUE’

“I’m anticipating a very difficult league this season, it’s always very competitive from top to bottom and this year will be no different.

“There will be a group of teams who believe they’re pushing for the title with the finances that they’ve got, and there’ll be a large group of teams below that who want to push for the top end of the league.

“Every game will be difficult, but I’m confident that with this group of players we can be a really competitive team and a really hard team to play against in this division.”

GARY ON… BRISTOL CITY CHALLENGE

“Bristol City will be well organised, I’ve seen them live twice in pre-season and they played very well against Cheltenham Town.

“They weren’t as good against Portsmouth, but in pre-season you can never really tell what has been done off the pitch and how physically hard they’ve trained, which can sometimes change the performance levels.

“They have threats high up the pitch and the crowd will really get behind them with it being the first competitive match following the re-development of their ground.

“We’ll have to play against a very excited home crowd, so we have to control that as well.”

GARY ON… FRUSTRATING INJURIES AND THE NEED TO ADD

“We still need to add players to the group.  The squad isn’t as strong as I would like it to be from top to bottom.

“We have a lot of quality players, but the depth of the squad isn’t as good as I’d like it to be, so we’re still looking to improve and I’m sure we’ll do that from now until the end of the window.

“We’ve had a few injuries, some of them have been more difficult to take because they’re out of our control like Kyle Knoyle’s elbow injury on his very first day, and similarly with Andy Kellett, he’s just turned awkwardly early on in the summer and now he’s out.

“We’ve not had many injuries that are within our control in terms of muscle injuries so we’ve been a little bit unfortunate, but even without those injuries I still feel we need to strengthen in certain areas.”

GARY ON… MAX POWER’S CONTRACT EXTENSION

“Max (Power) came in last year as a little bit of an unknown player from Tranmere Rovers, a young player who we felt had a big future in the game and he went on to show that in League One.

“We felt that one of the main things we had to do this summer was get Max’s contract extended for a longer deal because we see a massive future for him and we hope it’s at this club.

“It’s great for Max and great for his team mates as well because he’s well-liked and respected within the dressing room; it’s a big lift for everyone.”

GARY ON… LEE NICHOLLS’ DEPARTURE

“Lee (Nicholls) is somebody I’ve known for a long time when he came into the club as a youth team player.

“I gave Lee opportunities because I wanted to make sure he got them here, but for a number of reasons it hasn’t happened and I felt it was important he goes on and starts his career elsewhere.

“I’m sure he’ll have a very good career because he’s got all of the attributes to be a top goalkeeper.”


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