Five things we learned from Stoke City (h)

Jamie Jones
Jamie Jones

Paul Kendrick reflects on five talking points from Wigan Athletic's Carabao Cup home defeat to Stoke City...

1 Paul Cook won't be losing any sleep over exiting the Carabao Cup. In fairness, there can't have been many Latics fans turning up and paying their money expecting Cook to approach the game as he would an FA Cup quarter-final or even a regulation Championship game. He made no secret of the fact the competition was a distant third in his priorities for the season, and that the team selection - including 10 changes - was all about getting minutes under belts rather than ensure progression into the next round. That said...

2 A few players missed the opportunity to stake a claim for inclusion for Saturday's Championship visit of Leeds. Cook admitted before the game there were shirts available following last weekend's horror show at Preston. And a few players perhaps didn't make the most of their opportunity to shine. In mitigation, it was never going to be easy to do that in a team full of so many changes. On the flip side...

3 One or two players did give the manager a nudge ahead of the weekend. Recent loan arrivals Dujon Sterling and Bright Enobakhare showed some nice touches on debut and look lively additions, while Joe Williams used his first start to suggest a midfield partnership with Sam Morsy could be 'lively' if the need arose. But the man who undoubtedly did most to stake a claim was...

4 Jamie Jones proved he's far more than a dependable back-up option. The 30-year-old has spent most of the last couple of seasons on the bench as understudy to Christian Walton. But he showed during a sustained run in the side last term he is a more than competent goalkeeper in his own right. And against Stoke - after an early handling error - he produced a man-of-the-match effort that included three or four outstanding saves. He also organises and has a reassuring effect on those in front of him. With David Marshall having conceded five goals in the opening two games, the manager certainly has food for thought.

5 James McClean has lost none of his enthusiasm or competitiveness! The former Latics favourite had a great game down the Stoke left, getting up and down and putting some testing crosses in. He was also involved in the most comical moment of the night, when Stoke worked a clever short corner to him on the edge of the box. Unfortunately, referee Mr Whitestone didn't read the script...and took him out with a brilliant bodycheck! Naturally, James took it well, and managed to scream abuse at the whistle-blower while chasing back to reclaim the ball...let's just say Bright Enobakhare was wise to move the ball on before McClean caught up with him...