Updated: Saturday, 14th December 2019 @ 6:16pm

Wigan welcome back fresh faces as Caldwell has near full squad to choose from

Wigan welcome back fresh faces as Caldwell has near full squad to choose from

| By Duncan Robinson

Wigan will host Colchester on Saturday for the first competitive meeting between the two sides for 13 years.

The U’s travel up to Lancashire having lost their last two matches after winning the previous four.

Wigan have only lost once in the last nine games in all competitions but are desperate for a win after drawing the last four.

Latics are still to taste defeat at home this season and they will see this weekend as an ideal opportunity to get back to winning ways.

Manager Gary Caldwell has revealed that he had a full squad in training on Thursday apart from defender Kevin McNaughton (knee), who is out for the long term.

Haris Vuckic (ankle) played for the development squad in midweek, Jason Pearce (knee) is close to a comeback and striker Grant Holt (knee) made his first league appearance since Boxing Day 2013 for Latics after coming off the bench at Bury.

Things finally look to be looking up now on the fitness front and the boss knows it is a positive selection headache that he now faces.

“It was great to see the strength and depth that we now have and it’s going to be difficult to pick the squad, and not only that but the starting eleven as well but that’s a good problem to have,” he said.

On the upcoming opponents, he stated, “they’re a good team, they have a massive threat on the counter-attack and possess a lot of pace in their team and we have to be ready for that.

“They were on a good run of form but they’ve lost their last two, we’ll respect them, though, and we’ll have to play well if we want to win, just like we have had to in every game in League One this season.

“It’s another big challenge and it’s going to be another competitive game.”

Colchester have several injury concerns as Tony Humes' men look to recover from the successive defeats.

Centre-half Frankie Kent has a toe problem, while midfielder Owen Garvan (ankle) and winger Gavin Massey (calf) have both not trained this week.

Left-back Matt Briggs is available again after serving a one-match suspension last weekend, when the U's surrendered a two-goal lead to lose 4-2 at Shrewsbury.

Striker Chris Porter is also pushing for a first start since recovering from an ankle injury picked up on the opening day of the season.

Wigan and Colchester stand in 10th and 12th positions respectively in the table and a win for either could close the gap on the early play-off pacesetters.

Image courtesy of Wigan Athletic via YouTube, with thanks.