Nick Chadwick on how his side are determined to bounce back from cup final disappointment.
- Reaction: Nick Chadwick on Latics' 1-0 defeat to Luton Town.
- Latics will use EFL Youth Alliance Cup disappointment in final week of season.
- League title bid still on, with Latics also preparing for a second cup final against Preston North End.
Speaking to iFollow Latics after our Under 18s' 1-0 defeat to Luton Town in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup final, coach Nick Chadwick said his players felt the disappointment on the night, but will use it as motivation in their final games of the season as the league title push continues and a second cup final awaits.
"The lads have been great this season and we've had some terrific performances, but against Luton it didn't happen for a variety of reasons.
"We didn't take the ball or pass the ball well enough and Luton were deserved winners.
"We were hopeful that something might happen at the end when a couple of things began to drop for us at the edge of the area. We had to go for it and put pressure on their goal. The subs had a good impact and we tested their keepers and had one cleared off the line late on from Will McGuffie's effort.
"We had our moments in the game, but there's an expectancy within the group, because we've done so well this season, that we're going to get a decent performance. We played with a little bit of gusto at the end and started to play the ball forwards better, but fair play to Luton."
On goalkeeper Jordan Perrin's penalty save in the second half, Chadwick continued:
"We needed Jordan. The play in front of him wasn't good enough, but fair play to Jordan because he made a good save in the first half and a terrific save from the penalty.
"Jordan can come off the back of the performance knowing he's made some decent saves, but overall we're disappointed."
With Latics set to face Preston North End in the Lancashire FA Youth Cup final this coming Saturday, Chadwick said his side will learn from the disappointment and need to use the experience of playing on a big stage to their advantage.
"There wasn't much I could say to the players in the dressing room because they know they're better footballers than what they showed on the big stage.
"The only thing I can add is that football is about performing on the big stage. It's about taking performances from Christopher Park to places like Kenilworth Road and the DW Stadium and being able to perform. We didn't do that against Luton and I've no doubt that the boys are disappointed and hurting because they're good lads.
"It's a good group with good characters in the dressing room.
"The boys have got themselves in an unbelievable position being in two cup finals and they're top of the league.
"You don't get to this point without having good footballers in your academy and we certainly believe we have.
"This is going to be a defining week of whether or not we'll win a couple of trophies and deem the season a success or not. Unfortunately against Luton we didn't get off on a good foot, but the boys will dust themselves down for the Lancashire FA Youth Cup final on Saturday against our local rivals Preston and we look forward to putting on a better performance in that final."
Latics face Preston at Christopher Park this Saturday, kick off 11.00am.