The 5-2 defeat at Fleetwood Town on Wednesday night was not unexpected. It's time these Mickey Mouse cups were outlawed as they mean nothing and it's just another nail into the coffin of grass roots football. The 'big' clubs see this as a way of introducing their 'Academy' teams into competitive football and hopefully, for them, an eventual entry into the Football League. If that ever happens, it's the end of football as a game! What's wrong with having a reserve league like the old clubs used to have? Many of those games attracted gates well in excess of 10,000 fans (and sometimes three times that number) and it was the start of the road back for many players after they had suffered injury.
Latics' Head Coach, Dino Maamria, said of the result, “I think the positive is the second half, we drew it 1-1. We had a good second-half but it was always going to be difficult when you give away three goals in 12 minutes. I was really disappointed, I think it’s a tough lesson for our young back four. To concede after five minutes from a free header, I don't think Stotty will let his man do that again. He will learn from it, he's a young lad. It’s his proper first season in the Football League against a better opposition. To be fair I think we are probably better out of the competition, we haven't got the depth in the squad to deal with it. I don't get carried away with the scoreline because the process hasn't changed. I’m here, it’s a long job and a tough job. We have a lot of changes to make, we've got what we've got at the moment. Sometimes you come up short and we definitely came up short against a good Fleetwood team.”
“I think to give anyone three goals in 15 minutes it’s going to be a tough evening. It could have got a lot worse but in the second-half we changed a few things and we had a better go. There is a lot of positives as well. I thought that Zak Emmerson equipped himself really well for his full debut. I thought he was fantastic for a 15-year-old. It's more disappointing for the rest of his teammates that they didn't help him out but I thought he worked really hard, he had nice touches, he got hold of the ball well in tight areas, he played well. I thought Jonny Smith was outstanding. It’s good to see Zak Mills back, his first 90 minutes for a while so there is certain positives despite the scoreline. I’m worried I might lose him [Jonny Smith] in January, if he keeps performing the way that he's been performing. He's a great lad to work with. He's not scored as many goals as he has before in his career so I’m always on his case to try and get forward as a wide player. I keep telling him the best players in the world are wide players. Ronaldo made his name from scoring from wide positions so he has to keep improving and doing that. He’s a pleasure to work with and a very coachable kid. I’m glad to see him scoring the best goal of the night. Chris Eagles and Filipe Morais came off at half-time. I didn't want to carry on with Chris McCan as well. He has played a lot of games in a short space of time but we’ve got to crack on with it.”