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GARY CALDWELL: "IT’S BACK TO BUSINESS"

22 June 2016

Gary Caldwell says he can’t wait for season to start.

  • Wigan Athletic players back for pre-season on fixture release day.
  • Gary Caldwell with his reaction to the 2016-17 fixtures and the first day of pre-season.
  • ‘When you see the list of fixtures and the players are back, you can’t wait to get started.’
Latics manager Gary Caldwell says he ‘can’t wait’ to get started now that the players are back for pre-season training and the new fixtures for the 2016-17 season have been released.

“It’s the old London buses cliché,” he says, “It’s been a period where nothing much is happening, then suddenly two things occur on the same day, we get the fixtures and the players are back.

“What people maybe don’t realise is just how much work has been going on behind the scenes this summer, however. Not only have we been working hard to strengthen the team and bring in new players, but the preparations at the new training ground have been non-stop.

“The pitches there need a couple more weeks to bed in so the decision has been made to carry on training at Christopher Park next week, then we’ll start using Euxton properly when we come back from Portugal.

“The players went up this morning and got a huge lift to see first-hand the new facility, it’s a big step up for all of us and will give the club a massive lift.”

On the condition of the players, Caldwell added:

“The days of players getting overweight and out of shape during the summer are long gone. Many of the players were in with the training staff during the break to maintain fitness levels and really the summer now is a period of rest for them rather than anything else.”

As regards the fixtures, Caldwell says it gave everyone another major lift to see who we will be facing in the coming weeks and months.

“Last season was a brilliant effort from everyone at the club and to be able to lift the trophy on the DW Stadium pitch was the reward for all that hard work. We’ve earned the right to be back at this level and when you see the list of clubs we will now be facing, it is exciting.

“You do have to play everyone twice, so it doesn’t really matter when you play them, that’s the truth of it, but when you look at a list that includes the likes of Newcastle, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and so on, it does whet your appetite. We know that every game in this league will be really tough, such is the quality of the squads but that’s the challenge and we’ll be up for it.”

He added: “The real hard work starts now, it’s going to be an intense six weeks or so until the season kicks off but come August 6th, we’ll be ready.”

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