Boss feels lack of belief in ability to score is proving damning in recent weeks as Latics go down 1-0 to Brighton & Hove Albion at the DW Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
- “The atmosphere was full of anxiety after their goal,” Caldwell.
- Boss explains Yanic Wildschut’s absence.
- Praise for Michael Jacobs from Caldwell.
Reflection post-match with Latics PlayerHD, Caldwell explained:
“We’re very disappointed again; I felt up until their goal we played well and then after it I was a bit disappointed with how we played because we got a little bit anxious, the crowd got anxious and then our play went to pieces after that.
“Up until the goal, I couldn’t ask for much more other than that bit of belief from the players in their own ability, the players have to believe in themselves, if they want to score a goal they have to and that was the only thing missing from the performance.”
The game’s only goal came when Seagulls substitute Dale Stephens smashed home from 25 yards in the second-half.
But, despite praised the strike from the Bolton-born midfielder, Caldwell admitted his side could have done much more to prevent it going in.
“There’s always something you can do to prevent a goal,” he added. “I think we can get out to the cross, we can have more bodies on the edge of the box to stop the shot but it’s quality and you’ve got to give Stephens the credit because he come on as substitute, got that one chance and took it.”
Yanic Wildschut was a surprise absentee from Latics’ squad but Caldwell revealed afterwards the unavoidable reason why the Dutchman missed out and the problems it caused him and his coaching staff.
“Yanic’s wife gave birth overnight so he was up with her all night and wasn’t available,” Caldwell said. “Obviously, there’s nothing you can do but I think he would really have been a threat today, he was meant to start and we had to change that this morning.”
Michael Jacobs continued his recent good form and Caldwell felt the forward was back to his best on Saturday, whilst also stating he couldn’t ask for much more from any of his squad.
“I thought Michael Jacobs was back to his form of last year, he was outstanding, but again it’s just that belief when he gets a chance, he’s got to take it.,” he continued.
“I can’t argue with any of the players, though, the effort they gave me and the way they played the game, against a seasoned Championship team who have finished in and around the play-offs every year was very good.”
Caldwell acknowledged results have been frustrating so far this season but called on supporters to stick with his side and promised results will turn.
“The supporters have got to stick with the team; they have to support us in these times, it’s not easy for anyone and we’re all giving everything we’ve got,” Caldwell added. “We’ve got to stick together to get through this run of not winning matches and not getting many breaks. We’ll keep working hard as a group and we will turn it around.”