GARY: I CAN AXE MY PALS

The Football League Paper - - TFLP - By Jamie Holt

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.”

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