Boss frustrated to not take all three points but admits his side couldn’t have given him anymore.
- “We just didn’t quite manage to win it,” Caldwell.
- Boss acknowledges injuries to Jussi Jaaskelainen, Conor McAleny and Jason Pearce made task harder.
- Praise for Lee Nicholls who made first appearance of the season as Jaaskelainen’s replacement.
Marcus Maddision’s swerving 35-yard free-kick cancelled out Will Grigg’s second-half opener for Caldwell’s side, as Latics added a point to their Sky Bet League One tally to extend their lead on third place Gillingham to five points.
Reflecting post-match with LaticsPlayer HD, Caldwell said:
“It was very frustrating but I said to the players that, in the second-half especially, in terms of effort and doing as much as they can to go and win a football game, I can’t really complain too much,” Caldwell explained.
“They gave it everything and, just for a bit of quality or the ball dropping right in their box, I think we would have won the game.
“It was chance after chance in the second-half and the only disappointment is that we didn’t quite kill the game off in our strong spells.
“Their goal is a freak free-kick that moves in the air and goes in off the post.
“It was one of them games where it was open, like we knew it would be, but we have just not quite managed to win it.”
Caldwell saw Jussi Jaaskelainen, Conor McAleny and Jason Pearce all pick up injuries in the game, with the manager having to make all three substitutions by half-time.
And Gary admitted that affected his plans for the game.
“It doesn’t make it easy [losing three players to injury],” he said. “Especially when we have played three games in a week and second-half would have been the time we would have liked to have freshened things up but we didn’t have that luxury.
“Jussi was badly concussed, Conor felt his hamstring and hopefully it is not too bad whilst Pearcey had a kick in the first-half in a tackle and felt his groin a bit too.
“We’ll assess them in the next few days and recover after a difficult week and go again.”
One of Caldwell’s substitutions saw Lee Nicholls come on for his first appearance of the season, and the manager was pleased with the young goalkeeper’s contribution.
“Lee has been outstanding,” Caldwell continued. “His attitude and his application to training, since he has come back from Bristol Rovers, has been first class.
“He has been focused every day on his job and that meant he was ready to come in and produce a performance like he did where he showed real composure and calmness.
“The goal moved a lot in the air and it is a difficult one for the keeper to have a go at.”