Boss proud of players after battling to goalless draw at The Den despite going down to ten men.
- “An incredible effort,” – Caldwell says of point at Millwall.
- Clean sheets so important to promotion bid, Gary explains.
- Further praise for keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen after more fine second-half saves.
Reflecting on the goalless draw at the Den, that Latics battled to after Sam Morsy was dismissed in the first-half, Caldwell spoke of his great pride in his players.
“It was an incredible effort,” Caldwell said. “In terms of putting their bodies on the line, running, working hard and doing everything that it takes to get a point with ten men, I couldn’t have asked for any more.
“They were sensational and thoroughly deserved the point in the end.
“It is a massive point; at half-time we re-jigged the shape to try and help us the deal with the loss of Sam and I said to the players that the minimum we get now is a clean sheet and we did.”
A monumental team effort saw Latics home, but Jussi Jaaskelainen’s second-half save to deny Nadjim Abdou an opener was a crucial moment according to Caldwell.
“Everyone played their part and the save from Jussi in the second-half was incredible,” he added. “It came at an important time when they were putting pressure on. He does it week in and week out, and he was there again to get us a clean sheet and the point as well.
Latics recorded a fifth clean sheet in six games, maintaining their four-point gap on third place Walsall in the process, and Caldwell says the shut-outs are vital to any success his side will have.
“It is so important to keep clean sheets and if you want to be successful you have to build from the back and clean sheets are so important,” Caldwell continued.
“Especially when you go down to ten men, to have that character, belief and team spirit to get through is so important.
“We tried to win the game, at least for 20 or 25 minutes when we played quite well in the second-half, but to come in with a clean sheet was fantastic and they deserved that with the way they played."