GARY: I CAN AXE MY PALS
GARY Caldwell insists he will not shy away from axing his mates now he is in charge of picking the Wigan team.
The former defender, who turns 33 today, took the reins at the DW Stadium last Tuesday after the relegation-threatened Latics ended Malky Mackay’s disastrous 25-game spell as manager.
Caldwell, pictured, was part of the Wigan squad that lifted the FA Cup in 2013 and was on the playing staff this season until a hip injury forced his early retirement. He launched his reign with a creditable 2-2 draw at Fulham on Friday night.
The former Scotland international says after seeing how Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs coped in his brief role as caretaker boss of the Red Devils after David Moyes left last term, he is confident he can take to the role.
“I remember seeing a programme on Ryan Giggs last year and he said one of the hardest things was picking his first United team, leaving mates out and having to tell them,” said Caldwell. “I want to do that in an honest way, and I’ll always be up front with people.
“I want to start as I mean to go on and when that happens I want to let people know as honestly as I can.
“There’ll be an initial shock of seeing me standing up there, which might be strange for them to begin with.
“For me, it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, so I don’t think it’ll be a problem.
“It will probably be more uncomfortable for them, but once that wears off I think it’ll be fine.”
Chairman David Sharpe, 23, admits Caldwell’s appointment is with next season in mind as relegation from the Championship looks odds-on. He said: “This is a longterm appointment, and if we do go down we want the right people in place to help us come straight back up.
“Gary is one of them, he knows this club inside out.”