Gary looks ahead to Latics’ clash with Oldham.
- Latics host Oldham at the DW Stadium on Saturday.
- Gary discusses; the pitch, Latics’ form and the fitness of his squad.
- Caldwell expects tough challenge from Oldham.
GARY ON… OLDHAM ATHLETIC
“As we’ve found at home this season, every team that comes to the DW Stadium wants to make it hard for us and Oldham will be no different.
“They’re fighting for their lives in this division, but we have to focus on ourselves. We’ve got to remain focused on our performance and winning the game, winning games is the most important thing at this stage in the season.
“We’ve worked hard, we’re ready for the game and we’re looking forward to getting back in front of our home crowd.
“Oldham will want to stop our good start to the year, but I think every team wants to beat us.
“That’s been evident since day one, they see us as a scalp and they want to come and upset us and beat us.
“That’s a great challenge for the players, they know that in every game they’re coming up against teams who are highly motivated to beat a club that was a Premier League club just over two years ago.
“We know the challenge is coming, and we’ll have to perform to make sure we meet the challenge head on.”
GARY ON… SQUAD FITNESS AND KEVIN McNAUGHTON RETURN
“The squad is looking great at the moment. I get a sheet every day with green marks next to those who are fit and red ones next to those who are injured. There are only two red marks at the minute and that’s really important coming into the crucial part of the season.
“It’s so important to have fit players who want to get in the team and play. It’s great for the squad in terms of competition, and for me in terms of picking a team I believe can win the game.
“Kevin (McNaughton) came back on Tuesday for the Development Squad, it was great to see him back out in a competitive situation.
“He’s been great around the place even though he’s been injured. His experience is great in terms of being able to talk to the younger players, letting them understand what it takes to be successful and to get promotion.
“He’s had experience of that with Cardiff City, and even though he’s been injured he’s been an integral part of the squad. It’s great to have him back on the training pitch now helping the boys out.”
GARY ON… CURRENT FORM AND SHEFFIELD UNITED VICTORY
“It was a big game and we knew that going into it, in terms of the size of the club we were coming up against. We knew we had to go and show our quality, and I think we did that right from the first minute.
“We kept the ball, we understood what it took to win a big game away from home. We scored our goals at a good time in the match and could have score more, but I think as an all-round performance it was the best of the season and we want to continue from that on Saturday.
“It’s been fantastic recently, but we don’t want to look back, we want to keep looking forward and progressing.
“I said after the game there were small things we can still improve on, and that’s what we’re focusing on, continually getting better.
“Hard work will be the key to that, especially if we want to achieve our goals come the end of the season.
“The business we did last month really did shape the squad. The surgery it needed in the summer was drastic, and we had to do that quickly without seeing as many games as we would have liked.
“We worked very hard from then to plan for January and to make sure that come January we knew the targets we wanted and we knew how to get the real final pieces of quality to get us to where we want to be.
“I think we’ve done that. I see in training a group of players that are really hungry, together and believe in what they’re doing.”