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Gaffer Pleased With Second Half Performance

9 November 2016

Manager Stephen Robinson praised his side’s second half performance in last night’s penalty shootout win over Blackburn Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Freddie Ladapo and Brian Wilson twice equalised in normal time, in a game which Athletic dominated, to send Robinson’s side into a penalty shootout.

Lee Croft stepped up to take the winning penalty and he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way as Latics earned a bonus point.

It is now five wins out of eight for Robinson’s men and two wins on the bounce and the manager is delighted with the form of his players.

He said: “It’s the first time I’ve ever got two points from a game so it’s a different feeling! 

“It was a very good workout for the players. It’s a strange competition because they are allowed to put out players who are older than the age bracket which makes it a competitive match.

“Both teams played eight players 23 or under so it was very even. I thought we dominated for large parts of the game, especially in the second half.

“It was a place for players to show me they should be in the first team, some did, some didn’t but the pleasing aspect was that we won the game on penalties which was our fifth win in eight game and 10 goals in that period so we are scoring goals and making chances.

“It was a good exercise for us and hopefully we will go into the next round of the competition."

Robinson made two changes at the break, bringing on Lee Croft and Freddie Ladapo and the gaffer was delighted with their contributions. 

“Crofty set up Freddie to obviously it was inspired substitutions,” he commented. 

“We were always going to do that because we were conscious that Ryan Flynn had played a lot of game time and we had to get him off. 

“We wanted to get Billy Mckay off as well but we made a lot of changes and strikers want to stay on the pitch anyway.”

Although the game was played in front of 471 supporters, the gaffer was pleased with the attitude of his players. 

“It shows good character from the boys,” he admitted. “The game might have been played in front of around 400 people but they stepped up, took the penalties and it was professional. 

“Connor Ripley hit the best penalty of the night so we won’t hear the end of that one!”

Watch the full interview on Latics PlayerHD. 

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