Wigan Athletic Chairman David Sharpe claims Caldwell was the only candidate the Championship strugglers considered to replace Malky Mackay.
Mackay was sacked on Monday following a 2-0 loss to Derby County which left his side eight points adrift of safety, and Sharpe acted swiftly to appoint Caldwell.
Sharpe was left convinced after meeting with Caldwell on Monday, telling the Latics official website: “Gary was the only candidate we considered because we are so convinced of his qualities”.
“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.”
“He knows who we are as a football club and shares the same football philosophy.”
Wigan currently sit in 23rd spot in the Sky Bet Championship table with only five games and have been enduring a torrid spell of form, with only one win in their last six.
Despite relegation looming over their heads, Sharpe added that the appointment was taken with the long-term success of the club in mind.
“It will be difficult to stay in the Championship. It will need a miracle for us to stay up but this is not a short-term appointment. It’s one for the future.”
Caldwell, who appeared 102 times for Wigan, now becomes the Football League’s youngest manager at 32, but insisted in his introductory press conference that: “I believe in desire and passion and that is something that I want to bring to management. It’s a chance to do something great with this club and take it back to where it should be.”
Caldwell should certainly have the backing of the fans having played for the club since 2010 and led a heavily unfavoured Wigan team to the FA Cup in 2013, in a famous victory over Manchester City.
Despite vast experience for club and country, only time will tell whether Caldwell will be successful in his first managerial venture, however it would take a miracle to stave off relegation this late in the season.