Wigan v Sheffield United: Caldwell hopes Old Trafford ‘spy’ mission blunts Blades

Wigan manager Gary Caldwell is hoping that his players can use Tuesday night’s rearranged fixture against Sheffield United to their advantage as they look for another three points at home.

The fixture, originally arranged for Boxing Day, was postponed due to torrential rain and although there was disappointment at the time, it may have been a blessing in disguise for Latics.

Caldwell had the chance to get and scout particular games that day and was also able to visit Old Trafford on Saturday to watch the Blades in their narrow defeat in the FA Cup.

And the boss is adamant that the postponement hasn’t changed any of his preparations for the game.

“It is what it is and you just have to get on with things,” he said.

“On that day (Boxing Day) I went to watch Stoke City v Man United and then Shrewsbury Town v Fleetwood, so I managed to see Fleetwood play before our game with them, which was a bonus.

“I also managed to see Sheffield United on Saturday which has come as a bonus to our preparations, so from that point of view it has been better because I’ve had the chance to see teams live before we play them.”

And Caldwell hopes that the late winner from Wayne Rooney in that game will benefit his boys as they look to keep up the good feeling in their own camp after a late winner themselves against Gillingham last week.

“We’re on a high,” he continued. “The boys were still excited in training.  You can still sense that euphoria from Gillingham on Thursday night.”

“Sheffield United worked very hard in their game and I felt they deserved to get something from the game, so to lose it the way they did to a late penalty is cruel.

“We have to use our momentum and take it into the game from the very first minute.”

He was conscious however of a backlash from the Blades and knows Wigan will have to be on the ball against a team that won four games in a row in December.

“Sometimes when you get beat like they did, a game coming in quick succession after it can really help, which is why we have to be wary of them bouncing back,” he said.

Latics will be without defender Donald Love who has returned to his parent club Manchester United after a loan period at the DW Stadium. 

Yanic Wildschut returns to Gary Caldwell’s selection plans though having completed a permanent move to the club on Saturday.

Billy Sharp and Jay McEveley both came off in Sheffield United’s defeat to Man United, with manager Nigel Adkins admitting a couple of players may miss out on the clash with Latics’ due to knocks picked up at Old Trafford. 

Image courtesy of Wigan Athletic via YouTube, with thanks.

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