Wigan Athletic boss delight at Papa John's delivery

Leam Richardson was a happy man after Wigan Athletic were drawn to host either Arsenal Under-21s or Chelsea Under-21s later this month for a place in the last four of the Papa John's Trophy.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 7:20 pm
Leam Richardson

The draw, which was made on Thursday morning on talkSPORT, saw Latics pulled out last of the eight remaining sides.

It was initially thought the fixture would indeed be away, despite Premier League Under-21 sides conceding home advantage in all the group stages.

For the knockout stages, they have in the past been allowed to enjoy home advantage.

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Indeed, Arsenal themselves tweeted that they would be hosting the game, should their youngsters get past Chelsea first.

But Latics then confirmed the game would be staged at the DW, in the week commencing January 24.

And with a hectic fixture schedule to negotiate during the second half of the campaign, Richardson was more than satisfied.

"Yeah very much so, it means much less travelling, at a time when the fixtures are piling up," he said.

"After the win at Oldham, if I'm going to be honest, the one thing we wanted above all else was a home draw.

"Let's see where we are come the week of the 24th, and we'll be looking to take another step forward in another competition.

"As long as our squad depth allows us to be competitive in every competition we play, we'll do everything we can to keep facing each game on its merits."

All four sides progressing to the semi-finals will receive £50,000 from the prize pot.

Full draw:

Rotherham United v Exeter City/Portsmouth or Cambridge United

Sutton United v Harrogate Town

Hartlepool United v Charlton Athletic

Arsenal Under-21s/Chelsea Under-21s v Wigan Athletic

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