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“WE HAVE TO BE BRAVE AND GET BACK TO OUR WAY OF PLAYING” – GARY CALDWELL PRE-NORWICH

12 September 2016

Boss admits Latics must be braver on the ball and return to usual ways against Norwich.

  • Latics set for second away trip in just four days with Norwich clash on Tuesday.
  • “Sheffield Wednesday defeat behind us.” – Gary Caldwell.
  • Boss reserves praise for Will Grigg after 33rd goal in 50 appearances.
Speaking to wiganathletic.com at the Wigan Athletic Training Centre at lunchtime on Monday, Latics boss Gary Caldwell says his team must return to their usual way of playing and control Tuesday night’s clash with Norwich City if they’re to come away with all three points.

Following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, Caldwell admitted Latics need to be braver on the ball.

“Saturday was disappointing.  The application and effort was there from everyone, but we simply got beat by a better team.

“We have to hold our hands up and say performance wise they were better than us and they deserved to win the game.

“It’s the first game this season whereby I feel we’ve been beaten by a team that is better than us.

“We have to come back on Tuesday and do something about that.

“I felt we looked a bit inhibited on Saturday and scared to get on the ball to control the game like we normally do, which was frustrating having gone a goal in front.

“We have to get back to playing our way and being brave, so if we do that I’m sure we’ll be fine.”

One man who continued to impress on Saturday was much talked about striker Will Grigg, who scored his 33rd Latics goal in just his 50th appearance since arriving last summer.

Caldwell was full of praise for the Northern Ireland striker, who he says is still improving despite his sensational scoring record.

“He’s a fantastic striker, his goal was brilliant and the timing of his movement for the cross from Michael Jacobs was spot on.

“He will score goals in any team in any league because he’s that type of striker who understands when defenders aren’t looking at him and he can move to create the space to get those opportunities.

“I felt on Saturday his work rate and all round play was very good.  He’s improved a lot since he came to this club, not just his goals, but his general play has been fantastic recently.”

A tough test awaits Grigg and his team mates on Tuesday, coming up against a side who were recently relegated from the Premier League, currently sit fifth in the Sky Bet Championship and have a lot of threats, Caldwell continued:

“We want to go and win.  That’s always got to be the case.  We set our team out to win every game no matter what kind of run we’re on.

“As a player you develop a mentality to put defeats to the back of your mind, get back on the training pitch and work up a strong mentality to go out and perform to win the game.

“It’s going to be a tough challenge against Norwich, but I believe in this group of players that they can go to Carrow Road, perform and get a result.

“They have a lot of threats because when you come down from the Premier League you come down with players of real quality.

“They have a lot of threats from the middle into high positions up the pitch, similar to Sheffield Wednesday in that sense, so we’ll have to be ready to deal with that.

“If we control the game then we can take away their attacking threat.  It’s not about defending and stopping the attacking players to prevent them, it’s about controlling the ball to allow them to have it less.”

On Canaries boss Alex Neil, Caldwell added:

“Alex is an excellent manager who is flying the flag for Scottish managers.

“At a time when Scottish managers were drifting out of English football he came from Hamilton, where he did a fantastic job with one of the smaller clubs in Scotland and took them to a really high position in the league.

“He came down here and pulled Norwich from just outside the play-offs into the play-offs and then into the Premier League which was a huge achievement in his first taste of English football.

“Alex is someone I have a lot of respect for, I’ve got to know him through the pro license that we’re both on together, so it will be great to see him tomorrow night and put our team up against his.”


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