Gary Caldwell looks ahead to this evening’s clash with Birmingham.
- Latics host Birmingham City in the Sky Bet Championship this evening.
- Gary Caldwell discusses performances of Nick Powell and Will Grigg.
- Latics set to face ‘compact’ Birmingham side as Caldwell holds Gary Rowett in high regard.
GARY ON… BIRMINGHAM CITY CHALLENGE
“They’ve got an excellent manager in Gary Rowett who did a fantastic job at Burton Albion and was key to the start of their success recently.
“He’s built on that with Birmingham and their finishes in the last two seasons are the proof.
“They’re very difficult to break down, they’ll be compact and they’ll make it hard for us.
“It’s not going to be an easy game and we have to be even better than Saturday if we want to win the game.”
GARY ON… PERFORMANCE V BLACKBURN ROVERS
“There’s been a spring in our step at the start of this week and a desire to put in the work to produce the same result on Tuesday.
“The performance against Blackburn was impressive and for the first 45 minutes it was the best all round display I’ve seen.
“We’ve been working hard throughout pre-season and over the last couple of weeks, but we’ve only seen it pay off during periods of matches rather than across the 90 minutes.
“The possession, the control of the game, and the intensity to win the ball back to become and attacking threat was all there on Saturday.”
GARY ON… NICK POWELL’S PROGRESSION
“Nick’s got a long way to go and he knows that. He’s working extremely hard with the physios and the fitness coaches to keep improving on his fitness, but his quality is undoubted.
“We saw that with the free kick, and even more so with his range of passing. His switch of play at times was excellent and his intensity to win the ball back was really pleasing.
“He’s not just a player who works when we have the ball; he’s got great energy to retrieve possession.
“He can play in a number of roles which is why I was keen on signing him because he gives you options.
“On Saturday he was in his preferred midfield position and he’s not had a lot of opportunities to do that in the past few seasons. He showed how much he enjoys it in there and how much of an impact he can have on the game.”
GARY ON… WILL GRIGG
“The outside pressures haven’t impacted Will. He’s quite an unassuming lad, he comes in, gets on with his work and goes home. He’s not a flash typical centre forward.
“We have a laugh about it if the fire alarm goes off and blame it on Will, but the song is something that is great for him because it should give him confidence and belief and he should want to hear it all of the time because if we hear it then it means he’s scoring goals.
“His goal on Saturday was exceptional. It was instinctive and he knew exactly what he needed to do. It was another example of his ability to score different types of goals and I’m sure he’ll score a lot more this season.”