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Club News


27 July 2016

Latics boss pleased with progress of his players as Michael Jacobs free-kick secure 1-0 win at Oldham Athletic.

  • “Back to our assured selves,” - Gary Caldwell.
  • Caldwell admits he’s still in the market for additions to his squad.
  • Gary also hopeful his side will convert their chances come the start of the campaign.
Wigan Athletic manager Gary Caldwell was pleased to see his side turn in a much improved performance as Latics defeated Oldham Athletic 1-0 in their penultimate pre-season friendly on Tuesday evening.

Reflecting post-match, Caldwell said he was pleased with the way his side controlled the game, but now hopes his side take their opportunities in front of goal to reward the dominance of their performances in results.

“The results are not that important in pre-season, it’s more about the performance and I thought we looked back to our assured selves,” he explained.

“We controlled the game for large parts and, but for a little bit of a break around the final third in the box, we could have scored more goals.

“I hope the players are waiting for the start of the season, because that’s when it matters. Just for a little bit of quality or the break of the ball we could have scored more goals so as long as we’re creating opportunities then I am happy and I know when the real games start, the goals will start going in again.”

In the first-half, Max Power hit the crossbar for Latics who created a number of near opportunities for Nick Powell and Will Grigg. Power and midfielder partner Alex Gilbey looked to be making an extra effort to get involved with attacks and Caldwell admitted he was pleased with both of their contributions.

“There was a concerted effort to get into the box from our midfield players but it’s something I still think we could have done even better at times,” Caldwell added. “Particular when Max and Alex ended up down the side of the box, we didn’t fill the box with other bodies but I thought they were both excellent with the energy in their game and the quality they showed.”

The game at Park offered Latics supporters a first look at new signing Jake Buxton, who formed a three-man central defensive partnership with Craig Morgan and Dan Burn.

And Caldwell continued that he was pleased to get his man, who he doesn’t expect to be his last addition of the summer.

“I’m delighted to get Jake,” he said. “He is somebody I spoke to last season and to get him in is great.

“He brings great experience of the Championship, he’ll bring us composure as he showed at Oldham, he’ll help us play out and on top of that he’s a fantastic character to have in the dressing room.

“We still need more bodies to help the team but it is slowly getting to what I want and, as you could see, our players are improving all the time.”

Caldwell also gave an update on his players’ physical condition.

“The players are good and they’ve been through a lot of work,” he explained. “I looked at the data and some of them are nearing 200 kilometres they’ve been through.

“It’s been an incredible amount of work to get them ready for the whole season, not just for Bristol City, and we’ll now slowly taper that down to make sure they’re sharp and ready to play a full 90 minutes at full speed.

“As the training load decreases, the sharpness will increase so we’re ready for Bristol City.

“In terms of injuries, Donveron’s knee is still bothering him, it’s nothing major but he’s still in the treatment room.

“Emyr is coming back from his ankle problem after he rolled it a few weeks ago, he’s back on the grass but not quite ready to train.”

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