Boss delighted as Latics get back to winning ways with hard-fought victory over promotion rivals Bradford City.
- “One of the best games of the season,” – Caldwell.
- Praise for Stephen Warnock after another majestic performance.
- Gary feels win was deserved in the end.
Haris Vuckic was the match-winner, the Slovenian coming off the bench to score his second Latics goal and secure a massive three points.
Reflecting post-match with LaticsPlayer HD, Caldwell praised his side’s mental qualities.
“It was a tough game,” Caldwell said. “We knew Bradford were coming here on a good run of form, they would be hard to break down, hard to beat and we would have to keep knocking at the door.
“I said at half-time we would have to keep going, keep pushing and keep taking the game to them and I thought we did that in the second-half.
“We didn’t play as well as we have in recent games but the character and the commitment to win the game of football was incredible and I thought we deserved to win in the end.
“I kept the same team in terms of personnel but I tinkered with the shape a little bit to combat their shape with the two strikers and I thought it worked well in spells but in the second-half we needed more attacking threat in the game and Haris gave us that at the right time.
“We will take any kind of win at this time of the year and I just said to the lads that we have nine more games now that are all going to be like that and we have to be patient and keep doing what we think is right and we will get our rewards in the end.”
To their credit, Bradford played their part in a quality game of football between two of Sky Bet League One’s best sides.
And Caldwell was in agreement that it was one of the best of the season.
“I thought in terms of intensity and the speed of the game it was probably one of the best games of the season.
“It was a really tough match and I said to the players that the first game would be so important and it proved to be the case.”
Caldwell also praised substitute Craig Davies for his involvement in fellow substitute Vuckic’s goal whilst defender Stephen Warnock came in for praise on his home debut.
“Stephen has been brilliant; his attitude and his character is fantastic and you saw today his commitment to tackles and to headers is brilliant.
“He is a top professional and a top football player who we are delighted to have at the club.
“It is difficult for Craig because he hasn’t played as much as he would have liked and that is hard for him but he works hard in training and whenever he is called upon he always comes on and gives us something and we’re going to need that from everyone until the end of the season.”
And now the boss will have to prepare his side for a crucial double header over the Easter weekend as a trip to Swindon Town on Good Friday is followed by an Easter Monday home clash with Rochdale.
“There are nine games to go,” Caldwell continued. “We’ll dust ourselves down and go again next week and look forward to the challenge of the Friday and Monday games and we need everyone for that.
“The injured players need to work hard to be fit if they can and the boys need to recover ahead of a physical test.”