Caldwell says recent performances are encouraging as Latics close gap on second place to just two points with 3-0 win over Port Vale at the DW Stadium on Saturday.
- “From the off we showed our intent to be on the front foot.” – Caldwell.
- Manager praises hat-trick hero Will Grigg.
- Gary also talks clean sheet, debutants and league table.
The Scot was full of praise for how his side signalled their intent from the first whistle against the Valiants, securing three points that extends Latics’ unbeaten run to eight games.
Caldwell was pleased most by his players’ desire to be even better, though, telling LaticsPlayerHD that the drive to improve in his side is standing the club in good stead.
“I am delighted,” Caldwell said. “Right from the start we showed our intent to win the game and play on the front foot.
“We created opportunities, again we could have scored more goals than the three we did and that perhaps is the only minor disappointment, it should have been more than 3-0.
“There is lots we are doing very well but there are also things we are not. What is a good sign, though, is that we are still winning games but the squad are coming after the game and understanding that there were things they could improve on and do better.
“To be on the run that we are and scoring goals for fun at home is very promising and encouraging for the remainder of the season.”
All three goals were scored by striker Will Grigg, who impressed in front of his Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill.
And Caldwell says he sensed an opportunity for the frontman today after watching Port Vale’s 2-1 win at Doncaster Rovers in midweek.
“I think Will has been on fire recently,” he added. “He has shown the quality that we knew he had. I said to him after I watched Port Vale in midweek that I knew there were goals for him today because his movement and finishing makes him very difficult to stop.
“He got the three goals and that is good for his confidence and he will kick on from today in the remaining months of the campaign.”
Sam Morsy and Ryan Colclough, Latics’ two latest additions, were handed debuts from the bench by Caldwell and the manager was pleased with how both did on their first appearances.
“Sam and Ryan both did excellently,” Caldwell continued. “It was good to get a game like that where we could bring them both on and give them the feel of the DW.
“Playing with a new team is always difficult, especially considering they have only had one training session with the team, but they showed their quality and gave the squad a real boost.”
An almost perfect afternoon for Latics saw Jussi Jaaskelainen and his defence record a first clean sheet in eight games whilst fellow automatic promotion chasers Burton Albion, Gillingham and Coventry City all lost.
However, Caldwell says he won’t focus on the league table and results elsewhere until the final day of the campaign.
“It was important to keep a clean sheet,” he explained. “We did some work defensively during the week because we know that if we can keep clean sheets we have plenty of goals in the team so we will win games. It is good for Jussi and the other players to get another one under their belt.
“I have said before that we won’t concern ourselves with the league table until the final day of the season.
“It has been a good day results-wise but I don’t think we should be looking at that, I think we should concentrate on ourselves and our performances and results.”