Wigan Athletic boss: Kids will learn more from defeat than victories

John Sheridan was far from disheartened after Wigan Athletic's 3-1 home defeat to Port Vale in the EFL Trophy - insisting it will benefit his players' overall learning curve in the long run.
Charlie JolleyCharlie Jolley
Charlie Jolley

Despite a late rally, which saw Tom Pearce curl home a brilliant free-kick from 25 yards, goals from Theo Robinson (2) and Cristian Montano - who also hit the bar - sent Vale home deserved winners.

After leaving out senior men, Jamie Jones, Kal Naismith and Joe Garner, Sheridan acknowledged it was always going to be a tough night at the office.

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"I'm disappointed, I don't like losing any game," the Latics boss said.

"The game gave us an opportunity to throw in one or two of the younger lads against a very experienced Port Vale side.

"It's a difficult result, and difficult to take much out of the game. But as I keep saying, it's a learning curve for the younger players.

"We didn't want to lose the game, and I thought we could have done a lot better.

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"The last 15-20 minutes was probably the only time we showed any real sharpness in our play, and we created a lot of problems for them.

"But to concede the goals again like we have done...means we were playing a chasing game for too long.

"Even though it wasn't a league game, we need to do better.

"Players can't be like a light switch, and turn it on and off when they feel like it."

It was a night of contrasting emotions to the 6-1 thrashing of Liverpool Under-21 in their opening group game last month.

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But Sheridan feels the players - especially the less experienced ones - will learn from defeat than victory.

"Liverpool were obviously a very good side full of talented young players," he added.

"But our lads were a lot stronger in terms of having more of a physical presence.

"Tonight we were playing against a very experienced side who have been in and around the block.

"And it was a chance for our lads to have a look at the standard of the game and what they have to compete against."

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