Rioch praises forceful victory as Latics pick up big win.
- Gregor Rioch discusses Latics' 5-1 victory over Morecambe.
- Under 18s maintain four point lead in Youth Alliance.
- Praise for goal tally and Chris Sang's impact.
Latics continued their push for the Youth Alliance title on Saturday with a 5-1 victory over Morecambe at Robin Park Arena, extending their current unbeaten run to four games as Sam Stubbs, Chris Sang, Anthony Plant and two of four trialists hit the target.
Read the full match report from Latics' 5-1 victory over Morecambe.
Head of Academy Gregor Rioch took time to look back over the match this morning at the club’s Christopher Park Training Ground, highlighting some key points from the win, starting with the inclusion of four trialists in the starting XI.
“We brought in four lads who have been told that they’re not going to get professional contracts at other clubs, and it’s this stage of the season that gives us the opportunity to look at what else is out there.
“Having made our decisions on our second year apprentices ourselves, we’re now looking at other players who get let go by other clubs.
“They’re all good lads who are working hard and they play in the right way so we knew they would fit into our style well. They’re all from category one clubs so we knew to expect high standards.”
Although pleased with each of the performances put in by Saturday’s trialists, Rioch said it naturally took some adjusting to.
“It did disjoint what we wanted a little bit as a far as the style and pattern of play goes because the understanding between our players and the four trialists takes a little bit of time.
“Once we got past half time you could see more cohesion in the group. We were a bit stop-start in the first half and the goal knocked us back a bit.”
Latics took an early lead, but were pegged back after Morecambe forward Steven Hanson burst beyond the backline and too advantage of a slip by goalkeeper Kelland Absalom to equalise. On the goal, Rioch continued:
“There were a couple of mistakes leading up to the goal, we left ourselves quite open and then there was an unfortunate slip from Kelland (Absalom) just before they scored.
“Mistakes will happen and we’ll never have a go at the lads for mistakes, as long as they go about things in the right way.”
Latics went into the break 2-1 up thanks to a goal from their trialist midfielder, before introducing Chris Sang for Luke Burgess at half time, a change which added presence up front as Rioch explained:
“Chris Sang made a big difference in the second half when he came on. He replaced Luke Burgess who is just coming back from a hamstring injury, he got 45 minutes and did really well.
“It was a shame we had to bring him off really, but we have to protect him because the 45 minutes is part of his return to playing.
“When Sangy came on, who has been feeling it in the legs a bit recently after the volume of games as a first year, he made a massive difference to us.
“He was outstanding and his goal reflected his performance, I was really pleased to see his energy.
“We’re really pleased that we scored a number of goals because recently the games gave been tight. It’s a good confidence boost heading into this last stage of the season when we’ve got some very important games.”