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Wigan Athletic chairman David Sharpe convinced of Gary Caldwell's qualities

8 April 2015

Wigan Athletic chairman David Sharpe says new manager Gary Caldwell was the only candidate the club considered.

In a swift appointment, Caldwell replaces Malky Mackay at the DW Stadium, and he'll be assisted by Graham Barrow, alongside first-team coach Eric Black and goalkeeping coach Mike Pollitt.

Caldwell was voted Wigan's Player of the Year in 2012 and, overall, has played 111 matches for the club, captaining them for the majority of those games.

The 32-year-old has been combining his playing career with coaching over the past few seasons, and Latics chairman Sharpe believes he is the perfect person for the job.

“After a meeting with him on Monday and discussions all day Tuesday, Gary was the only candidate we considered because we are so convinced of his qualities,” Sharpe told the club's official website.

“He knows who we are as a football club and shares the same football philosophy.

“He is a natural leader who commands respect from everyone around him.

“People will talk about his lack of experience, but every young coach is in the same place, there are many examples of young coaches being given opportunities and being successful.”

Caldwell takes over at the DW Stadium with the club sitting 23rd in the Sky Bet Championship, eight points from safety with five games to go.

Sharpe admitted the immediate aim is to try and survive in the division, but said the appointment is with the long-term future in mind.

And Caldwell, an FA Cup winner with Wigan, is excited at the challenge ahead, despite being in the thick of the Championship relegation battle.

He said: “We are in a really tough place at the moment, but we will approach the next five games with only one thing in mind, to win. After that, we will assess where we are and move on.

“I’ve made no secret of the fact that I wanted to move into management when the time was right.

“I didn’t expect that to come along as quickly as this but, in football, you need to take opportunities when they arise and I am honoured and excited in equal measures to take charge at the Latics, where I have shared such incredible memories over the past five years.”

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