Gary Caldwell defends Will Grigg omission as Wigan held by Burton

Gary Caldwell defends Will Grigg omission as Wigan held by Burton

Wigan manager Gary Caldwell defended his decision to drop leading scorer Will Grigg as his side drew a blank against Burton.

Northern Ireland international Grigg has scored six goals in 12 games this season, but was dropped to the bench as the Latics failed to break a long-standing hoodoo against the Brewers.

Since being elected to the Football League in 1978, Wigan have beaten every team but Burton.

And that run continued as Nick Powell missed a gilt-edged chance to win it for Caldwell's side in the second half as the two promoted sides ended up sharing a goalless draw.

"I picked the best team that I felt could win the game," said Caldwell.

"Last time at home Adam [Le Fondre] scored, so it was the right decision.

"But today we didn't get the goal, so I'll accept the responsibility for that.

"It wasn't the greatest of games. In the first half they [Burton] had the better chances and better spells in the game, but I thought we controlled the second half.

"We created some great opportunities, but a draw was probably a fair result."

Despite failing to pick up three points in their first game after the international break, the Latics are unbeaten in their last three matches and have not lost at home in over a month.

"I'm confident if we play well we can beat anybody in the league," said Caldwell.

"I thought Burton were very good. They gave exactly what I thought they'd give.

"There were no surprises today for me. Our set-up defensively looks good, but attacking-wise the creativity, spark, energy and final pass wasn't there, which is the frustrating thing."

Burton boss Nigel Clough called for his misfiring side to become more clinical as their wait for a first away win this season continued.

"We lost our opportunity to win the game in the first half today," said Clough, whose side created some goalscoring chances in the opening exchanges.

"But we still managed to weather a little bit of a storm in the second half.

"And we also keep a clean sheet, the second on the spin, which was pleasing.

"But we've got to do more to get a goal when we're in control like we were in the first half.

"We've got to realise that in the first five or 10 minutes of the game that, if that's when you're going to have your [best] spell, we've got to do more to get a goal.

"We've got to try and improve on the number of situations in and around their penalty area that didn't result in a clearcut chance or a finish. That's been our story on the road this season."

The Brewers are now unbeaten in their last three league matches, but have now not won away in six outings this season.

And Clough admitted: "It's still a good draw away from home for us because they're got as good a squad as anyone in this league.

"That's one goal conceded in the last three games, so when we get our defensive unit right out there we're tough to break down. And that proved today.

"They [Wigan] were going to improve and they were always going to have a spell in the game.

"We weathered it, but they have quality throughout the team and coming off the bench.

"When Grigg and [Craig] Davies come at you late on they can cause you problems.

"But apart from a couple of skirmishes and chances we defended very well."


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