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Match Previews

“NOW IS THE TIME TO BE RUTHLESS” – GARY CALDWELL PREVIEWS BRADFORD CLASH

18 March 2016

Gary previews the visit of Bradford City.

  • Gary Caldwell says Latics need to be ruthless in their final 10 matches.
  • Manager expects physical test against well-drilled Bradford City.
  • Jacobs, McAleny and Pearce progressing well but unavailable for Bantams clash.
Speaking to Latics PlayerHD ahead of Latics’ Sky Bet League One meeting with Bradford City at the DW Stadium, Gary Caldwell emphasised the focus on being ruthless as his side prepare for the season run-in.

GARY ON… BEING RUTHLESS

“Ruthless is probably the best word to describe how we need to be over the last 10 games, both in front of goal and when we don’t have the ball.

“We need to be more ruthless and more aggressive in the way we try to get the ball back, and that’s been our main theme this week.

“When you get to the end of the season and two teams who have a lot to play for face each other it adds to the importance of the game and makes it extremely competitive.

“Bradford are playing well at the moment, I went to see them against Burton Albion and they beat them comfortably, so we know we’re in for a difficult game, but we also know that we’re in good form.

“We’re playing very well, but not quite getting the results that perhaps our form deserves of late, so we look forward to putting that right on Saturday.

“The three draws don’t concern me too much.  We’re unbeaten in 15 games and I’m sure the players themselves will say they’re frustrated with the last few games, but performance wise I thought we were outstanding on the ball last Saturday.

“The number of opportunities we created by retaining possession against a team who sat very deep was impressive.  We scored three goals from open play away from home and arguably could have had more, but off the ball we’ve worked on things this week which will help to put things right this Saturday.”

GARY ON… BRADFORD CITY



Will Grigg does battle with James Meredith at the Coral Windows Stadium in October.

“We’re expecting a similar battle to the one we had at Bradford in October.  That’s the style they have, Phil Parkinson’s teams are always aggressive and ask you a lot of questions.

“We’ve got to stand up to that aggression, and if we don’t then it doesn’t matter how we play on the ball because we won’t be successful.

“We’re ready for that challenge though, because we know it’s coming.

“Our approach hasn’t change for day one this season, so we’re mainly focused on what we have to do, but we also have to respect the opposition and their strengths.

“The players are always well drilled and they understand the strengths and weaknesses.”

GARY ON… PRESSURE SITUATIONS



Full time celebrations after Latics 2-1 win away at Walsall.

“The big game tag suits us.  We’ve shown recently away at Sheffield United and Walsall that the bigger the pressure, the better we rise to the challenge.

“Saturday will provide an excellent atmosphere with the away support Bradford are set to bring, it can only be a good thing for our supporters because it will give them even more incentive to back us.”

GARY ON… TEAM SELECTION



Michael Jacobs carried off against Crewe Alexandra in January.

“It was good to bring Sam Morsy back in last week because it’s a time where we’re losing a few players to injuries, and of course Chris McCann will be out for the last game of his suspension, so to get Sam back last week was great.

“Tomorrow we’ll look at the situation and see if the players we had last week can do the same, or if we need to change things slightly again.

“Michael Jacobs has been out on the grass again a couple of times this week, and it’s big for us to see him progressing.

“Before he got injured he was probably one of our best players in the season, so to have him back before the end of the season will be a big boost for everyone.

“We’ll keep him progressing as much as we can, but we’ll have to be cautious as well that we don’t set him back, so fingers crossed he carries on recovering as well as he has recently.

“Hopefully Conor (McAleny) and Jason (Pearce) aren’t too far away. We’ll look at them closely next week when they’re back out on the grass, and we’ll monitor them to see if they can get back into full training.”

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