Caldwell needs victory lift
Wigan centre-half seeks three points from derby with brother Steven's Burnley side
Thursday 18 March 2010
The Wigan defender Gary Caldwell claims he would not care how badly he played if his team were winning matches.
The Scotland international endured a torrid afternoon as Wigan were thrashed 4-0 at relegation rivals Bolton last weekend. The 27-year-old responded to some heavy criticism with a dominant display - and an equaliser - in Tuesday night's 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa but he insists results are his only concern.
Wigan remain just four points above the Premier League relegation zone ahead of a home encounter with fellow strugglers Burnley on Saturday. Caldwell said: "I would rather play like I played on Saturday if we won the game. It is not about me, it is a team game. Picking up points is the most important thing. It is not an issue how I play, it is how Wigan play and how many points we pick up."
Wigan will be happy with nothing less than all three points against the troubled Clarets, who have not won away all season. The game holds extra significance for Caldwell with his brother Steven a Burnley player, but the only family reunion this weekend will take place off the field.
Caldwell said: "There is a whole bus load coming from Scotland because of my brother's ties with Burnley. Unfortunately he is not going to be fit for the game but it was always a fixture that jumped out at you. It is a massive game for both clubs.
"We have to be right because we are at home and have to do everything to win the game. We have to be ready, physically and mentally right. It is going to go a long way in determining where we finish this season."
Caldwell levelled for Wigan on Tuesday just two minutes after a bizarre own goal from James McCarthy had given Villa a 25th-minute lead at the DW Stadium. The centre-half rose to send a Charles N'Zogbia free-kick past Brad Friedel with a glancing header. It was a goal that capped a fine performance but it ultimately counted for little as James Milner won it for Villa just after the hour.
"I just had to get something on it," said Caldwell. "It got us back in the game and at that point we looked quite strong, but in the second half the goal kind of knocked the stuffing out of us.
"But we had a real go, there was a real fight. With a bit of luck we might have got something and the effort and desire was there. We have got to pick ourselves up for a massive game on Saturday."
Villa's success lifted them firmly into the picture for the fourth Champions League qualifying place. They remain seventh in the table but are now just three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand. They will look to further enhance their claims by beating relegation-threatened neighbours Wolves in an intriguing-looking derby at Villa Park on Saturday.
Winger Ashley Young said: "We knew we had to take advantage of games in hand to keep pushing for that fourth spot, and that's exactly what we did. We are delighted with the win and looking forward to each game as it comes. It was a great team performance. We know Wolves are going to be tough but we are full of confidence and looking forward to that game."
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