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Big Occasion Killed Latics States Philliskirk

5 November 2014

Youth Team boss Tony Philliskirk was far from impressed with his side's performance as they were dumped out of the FA Youth Cup at the first round stage.

George Edmondson had given the Oldham Athletic youth team, sponsored by the Safeguard Group, the lead in the first half but two second half goals turned the game on its head and Rovers ran out winners.

Speaking about the game, Philliskirk was very downbeat and felt his players did not perform to the best of their abilities. He said: "I've got to be honest, I was disappointed overall. 

"I'm disappointed for the club and the players themselves because the way they performed last night was nowhere near the levels they have been performing this season. 

"We didn't move the ball and we didn't play with any purpose. We were second best and did not get to grips with their system. We have watched the goals back this morning and it was not great."

The game allowed a lot of the players to showcase their talents to an audience but the gaffer bemoaned the character of his players.

"You learn a lot about the players at the Youth Cup because it is on the big stage, on the first team pitch and there are people there watching. 

"I did say FA Youth Cup games are an audition for players to perform in front of watching scouts, managers and directors and to put it bluntly, they failed the audition," admitted Philliskirk.

"As a coach, it tells me a lot about the players mentally because they could not produce on the big stage. It was very quiet at the end of the game and a few words were said in an honest way as they realised they let themselves and the club down last night. 

"A lot of people have been talking about them after the ten game unbeaten run. The boys were prepared and we said all the right things but actions speak louder than words.

"In all my years here and all the Youth Cup ties I've been a part of, that was one of my biggest disappointments because I know they are so much better than that. On the big occasions some of them could handle it, but some of them couldn't."

Philliskirk continued: ""We've got to try and pick ourselves up for Saturday. Games come thick and fast and they can put it behind them but the sad thing is yesterday was the opportunity. 

"If we beat Wrexham on Saturday, people will still be talking about last night because that is the game they watched. Collectively the lads were not good enough and I could not be anymore honest than that. 

"I know they are young and make mistakes but at the same time you can't defend them for the way they played last night."

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