Reaction after cup final defeat to Latics
Development Squad head coach Paul Murray says he was pleased with the efforts of his ‘massively young side’ after their 3-1 Central League Cup final defeat to Wigan Athletic on Tuesday.
Town took an early lead at Robin Park Arena through Elliot Osborne’s penalty, but as the game wore on Wigan’s experience told as edged out Town’s youngsters.
“In the end the score line reads very harsh on us,” said Murray.
“At 2-1 down with ten minutes left, we were doing everything to try and find a goal.
“We had a great chance to level it up but unfortunately we didn’t take it and before you know it, they’re down the other scoring the third to put it beyond us.
“But looking back I’m pleased with the performances and the effort from what was a massively young side we had out there.
“We had Billy Crellin in goal who is 16, Dom Kerrigan at right back is a first year scholar and Harrison Holgate’s also a first year scholar. They should be proud.”
Fleetwood’s early lead came from an Osborne penalty after Wigan goalkeeper Theo Roberts stopped Ashley Nadesan’s clear goalscoring opportunity.
After initially showing a red card the referee handed the goalkeeper a reprieve and changed his decision to a yellow and Murray says that was a key moment in the final.
“We are all gutted to lose it the way we did,” he said.
“Especially when you see back the incident in the first minute, the referee clearly sends their goalkeeper off for all to see, but then brandishes a yellow and changes his mind.
“We’re all really disappointed by that, it was a big part of the game so early on.”
Murray’s side will be back in Cup action against Blackburn Rovers for a semi-final in early-May and he says it’s the perfect opportunity to bounce back.
“We’ve had a good run in this competition and it’s always pleasing to get this far,” added Murray.
“Now we’ve got to focus on the semi-final against Blackburn that’s coming up, hopefully we can get there and win that.
“It’s been a good year and I’m really pleased with the progress that the lads have made. They just need to keep sharp and continue what they’ve been doing in training all year and we’ll be ready.”