Leam Richardson reacts to Wigan Athletic's defeat at Crewe
Wigan Athletic boss Leam Richardson admitted the performances of young guns Sam Tickle and Chris Sze - who started for the first time - were the highlights from the Papa John's Trophy defeat at Crewe.
A Latics side sporting 11 changes from the weekend win at Gillingham crashed to a 2-0 defeat at the Mornflake Stadium.
Oli Finney scored the opening goal in the first half, with Under-23s skipper Scott Smith very unfortunate to put through his own goal on the hour mark.
Latics' night was summed up when Stephen Humphrys saw a penalty saved at the beginning of the second period.
And the manager was quick to focus his attention on the positives - and two more graduates from the Academy making their mark.
“I want to say congratulations to Sam Tickle and Chris Sze on making their debuts," he said.
“It’s important that we have a look in our Academy and see what we’ve got in there.
"These lads are working tirelessly hard, from Gregor Rioch, Frankie Bunn and Peter Murphy down to all the Academy staff, to give these lads a platform and see what level they are at.
“Obviously, they will bear fruit for that in years to come.”
Seven of the 10 outfield players would consider themselves in contention for a league start, but again not enough of them will have given Richardson a nudge in terms of future selection.
“It was disappointing in terms of the result," the Latics boss acknowledged.
“But the lads got some really good minutes in there because they have gone a couple of weeks without match sharpness and fitness.
“Physically, it’s better than training.
"That will bode well for us when they are in the team - so it’s disappointing with the result, but moving forward it will benefit us.”
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