Manager reflects as Latics close the gap on Walsall in second to just four points.
- Caldwell praises team for putting Tuesday’s disappointment behind them in emphatic win over the Spireites.
- Reece James’ first Latics goal pleases Gary.
- “We are unbeaten in six now, it is important to keep that run going.” – Caldwell.
Wigan Athletic manager Gary Caldwell was back in buoyant mood as a superb first-half performance played a huge part as Latics defeated Chesterfield 3-1 at the DW Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Now the fourth-highest goal-scorers in the division with 44 from 27 games, Latics were three-up at half-time against the Spireites as goals from Max Power, Reece James and Michael Jacobs blew away the visitors despite leading scorer in all competitions Will Grigg missing through injury.
Reflecting post-match with LaticsPlayer HD, Caldwell praised his side’s intent from the off as they put the disappointment of dropping a three-goal lead against Sheffield United on Tuesday night behind them.
“I am delighted,” Caldwell said. “I thought right from the very first minute we showed that the disappointment of Tuesday night came out in our performance and especially in the way we attacked.
“We played on the front, we looked hungry to score goals and win the game and I was delighted with the whole team performance.
“We are as good as anybody in this division when we play like we did in the first-half; we created so many chances throughout the game and I thought it could have been five or six for us before they scored.
“The only little disappointment is that we didn’t take full advantage of our opportunities but the fact we create so many is a big plus.
“From back to front, we passed the ball well, we looked really eager to penetrate and it was great to watch, in the first-half especially.
“I thought everyone today showed the disappointment of Tuesday today in their performance. The fans were angry with Tuesday, I was angry with Tuesday but I don’t think there was anybody angrier than the players and I think they took that anger and put it into today’s performance.”
Grigg and Chris McCann both were missing from the squad due to injuries and the latter’s replacement, James, bagged his first Latics goal with a fine strike to give Caldwell’s side a 2-0 lead.
And the Scot was delighted for the former Manchester United man.
“I had a good chat with Reece after the game on Tuesday and I told him to watch Chris McCann and the way he gambles, attacks and gets himself in the box and I said to Reece that he could do that,” he added.
“I said he can score goals for this team and I was delighted when he popped up with a goal. Again, his reaction and all-round display after not starting on Tuesday was positive.
“Chris and Will Grigg both have short-term injuries; Will has a muscular injury on his leg and Chris a toe injury but hopefully they will be back soon.”
New signing Reece Wabara came in for his Latics debut and Caldwell was pleased with the former Manchester City youth.
“It was a good performance from Reece,” Caldwell explained. “We have not had a lot of time to work on different things with him and it is a bit of a different role for him but I thought he showed excellent physicality and pace and power that he can bring to us down that right-hand side.
“All in all, he can be pleased with his debut.”
Latics extended their unbeaten run to six games with the win over Spireites, accumulating 14 points from a possible 18 in the process.
And Caldwell is now keen for his side to extend that run as they edge closer to the top two spots in Sky Bet League One.
“We are putting a good run together again,” he continued “We had a chat before Barnsley about what we needed to do over Christmas and New Year and we have had a six-game unbeaten run since then and we need to keep that going.”