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GARY CALDWELL: THE SUPPORTERS KEPT THE TEAM GOING

16 August 2016

Boss praises supporters and his players after Craig Davies earns a late point against Birmingham City at the DW Stadium.

  • “Atmosphere was great, and we’re thankful for that,” says Gary.
  • Caldwell wants players to take great credit for their performance, application and desire.
  • Gary frustrated with decisions in game’s controversial moment at the end of the first-half.
Wigan Athletic boss Gary Caldwell was left in mixed emotions after Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Birmingham City as Craig Davies scored a late equaliser for his side on an evening when the Blues opened the scoring following a controversial penalty decision at the end of the first-half.

Although there were no initial complaints from Caldwell about the award of the spot-kick for the challenge itself by Adam Bogdan on Clayton Donaldson, the Scot was left frustrated that the Jamaican international was marginally offside in the build-up before the scorer of the goal, David Davis, looked to have encroached the penalty area too early to follow up when the spot-kick was saved by Bogdan.

Reflecting post-match with LaticsPlayer HD, Caldwell said:

“I can understand one mistake but I can’t understand several and that’s how it seemed to me.

“First Donaldson looks marginally offside and then the boy who scores from the penalty save is two yards inside the box before he’s allowed to even be.

“To get that many wrong in a short space of time has killed us because they didn’t look like scoring.”

However, Caldwell was keen to heap the praise on his players for their reaction and the way in which they controlled another match at the DW Stadium.

“I told the players that they can take great credit for their performance, their application and their desire to go and win a game of football when they were out on their feet near the end. We showed a lot more energy than Birmingham in the last 20 minutes of the game.

“The goal was given to them and I couldn’t see them scoring; I thought we had total control in the first-half. Second-half, the more we opened up granted they had the odd counter-attack but they were few and far between and we controlled the majority of the game.

“We kept going, kept playing in the right way, kept trying to pass the ball and the only thing was that I felt we could have played a bit wider at times when we tried to force things through when the space was in wide areas.

“We had two wingers as wing backs and really went for it and got the least we deserved.

“We moved the ball quicker in the second-half and I felt that was something we could have been a bit brighter with and the Saturday-Tuesday games are something we’re going to have to get used to, to have that mentality from the start. Second-half we moved the ball quicker and got in some good areas to create good opportunities against a packed defence.”

Davies was the unlikely hero for Latics as he notched on his first appearance of the season after coming on as a late substitute, and Caldwell praised the frontman’s professionalism in what has been a long period without match action for the former Wales international.

“The goal was a credit to Craig’s professionalism because he’s been extremely professional in the last few weeks and he’s gone about his job and worked hard to be ready when an opportunity has come,” Caldwell said. “It just shows you that when you work hard you get your rewards.”

Caldwell was in equal praise for Latics’ supporters, who he’s instructed to be patient and loud at the DW, a response he certainly got on Tuesday night.

“The atmosphere was great and they kept the team going, we thank them for that,” he added. “It was hard in the second-half against a team that likes to defend in numbers. The goal was the least the supporters deserved for their performance on the night as well.”

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