'We had to get debuts into a few lads' - Wigan Athletic boss

Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook insists his decision to make 10 changes for the Carabao Cup first-round defeat to Stoke City was in the best interests of the club.
Joe WilliamsJoe Williams
Joe Williams

Latics, made up mostly of new-boys and players returning from injury, never got going against a very useful Potters outfit.

Stoke scored the only goal inside 10 minutes through Nathan Collins, but had further chances - including a Scott Hogan shot that hit the post - to have won the game by a far more emphatic scoreline.

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However, with Championship fixtures against Leeds and Middlesbrough to come in the next week, Cook says getting minutes into legs was the right thing to do.

"We had to get debuts into a few lads," he said.

"Some lads have been injured, some lads have signed late, and it was so important we got as many of them out on the pitch.

"It was important for our supporters to see them and get relationships with them, and important for them to have a run-out at the DW Stadium.

"It was a very good Stoke side they faced tonight, very physically strong, and well marshalled at the back.

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"But the lads never gave up, they kept working away, and I think some of them will be very pleased with their efforts.

"Without a shadow of doubt our main priority remains the league.

"When you're making 10 changes, you're making it absolutely clear what it is.

"The league is our bread and butter, the FA Cup we want to do better than last year, and the team will be picked around those two."

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Bright Enobakhare, Dujon Sterling, Charlie Mulgrew made their first appearances for the club, with Jamal Lowe and Joe Williams starting for the first time.

Gavin Massey also came through unscathed after undergoing surgery over the summer.