Boss bemoans unacceptable complacency as Latics draw with 3-3 with Sheffield United at the DW Stadium having led by three goals with just over 20 minutes remaining.
- “Angry and disappointed.” – Caldwell describes his emotions post-match.
- Performances of Will Grigg and Michael Jacobs are positives on disappointing evening.
- Gary looking for reaction on Saturday against Chesterfield.
Will Grigg, Haris Vuckic and Chris McCann scored to give Caldwell’s side a 3-0 lead before a Matty Done double and Billy Sharp strike cancelled out the initial good work done by the hosts on a wet night at the DW Stadium.
Reflecting post-match with LaticsPlayer HD, Caldwell said:
“I am very angry and disappointed at losing control of a game we were more than comfortable in. We created so many opportunities and should have scored more goals than the three we did. To throw the game away like that is unacceptable.
“I said at half-time that I sensed there were moments where we thought it was too easy and at 3-0 we definitely did and we paid the price for that.”
Despite extending their Sky Bet League One unbeaten run to five points and accumulating their 11th point from a possible 15 since their last defeat against Blackpool in early December, Caldwell could take few positives, though he did reserve praise for Grigg, Vuckic and Michael Jacobs.
“I think the only positives we can take were the performances of Will Grigg and Michael Jacobs, both of them were excellent,” Caldwell added. “Although Will could have scored a couple more goals, in general play, his work rate and movement were pleasing and then Michael was great in the way he was finding Will and his work rate was incredible as well.
“To be fair, I thought Haris Vuckic did well too, scoring his first goal in his first game in a long time. It was a good goal he scored but when he tired I had to take him off, he can be happy with his night’s work, though.
“They can be excused but from everyone else it was unacceptable, we can’t play with games like that because in football if you stop working and stop doing the right things, it will kick you in the teeth.”
A simple message from Caldwell to his squad now, though, and that is the importance of bouncing back against Chesterfield on Saturday and that places will be up for grabs.
“We have to react now, we have be bang at it for 90 minutes on Saturday,” he continued. “We have to recover, regroup and fortunately for us we have a quick turnaround and an opportunity to put it right on Saturday.
“However a lot of the players that played tonight, if I was them, I would be worried about my place.”