Wigan Athletic chief wants Class of '24 to write their own Wembley story

Shaun Maloney insists he will be naming as strong a side as possible as Wigan Athletic begin their Wembley quest against Leicester City Under-21s.
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Latics host the junior Foxes at the DW in their opening group fixture in the EFL Trophy.

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Wigan Athletic recruit 'weeks ahead of schedule', admits boss Maloney.

It's a competition Latics have won twice in their history - the Freight Rover Trophy in 1985, and the Auto Windscreens Shield in 1999.

Shaun Maloney is giving the EFL Trophy his maximum focusShaun Maloney is giving the EFL Trophy his maximum focus
Shaun Maloney is giving the EFL Trophy his maximum focus
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And Maloney is adamant he will be giving it the respect he says it deserves.

"It's one of our priorities," the Latics boss said. "The league form, I now see as separate to the cups.

"All the cups I really want to take seriously, including this competition.

"There won't be massive amounts of changes.

"If there are changes, it will be physical, or someone has deserved it through what they've done in training.

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"I see this competition as a chance to get to Wembley, and the chance to win a cup.

"And I'll be giving my best to take us as far as I can in this and every competition.

"That's what I like about this squad...any changes we make will be first-team players coming in.

"The reserves are doing well but, if there are changes, it's not going to be players coming in from the reserves.

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"If we do make changes, in my opinion it won't weaken the side at all.

"I'll be taking the game as seriously as any other."

Having played his part in the club's greatest ever day at Wembley, Maloney is desperate for the current group to write their own names into club folklore.

"I've made a big effort since I came in to celebrate the history of this club and also the rugby club," he added.

"We can't forget what levels we've been at, and we want to get back to there in our own right."

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Latics got all the way to the last four two seasons ago under Leam Richardson.

However, they were knocked out at the semi-final stage at the hands of League Two Sutton United, who advanced to Wembley after a penalty shoot-out at the DW.