- Leicester City’s Development Squad were beaten by Wigan Athletic on Tuesday
- The young Foxes went ahead at DW Stadium before falling to a 7-1 defeat
- The EFL Trophy opener was a harsh lesson for the team, Ben Petty said
Coming up against senior opposition for the first time this season, the young Foxes were beaten 7-1 by the Sky Bet League 1 side, despite taking the lead at DW Stadium on Tuesday evening.
“It's a very harsh competition,” Petty admitted at full-time. “You saw that in the second half. We played terrifically in the first half, I was really pleased with the lads, but we said at half-time that the first 15 minutes was going to be so important in the second half, because we know we'd woken them up a little bit.
“Unfortunately, in the first 30 seconds they got the second goal and it gave us a mountain to climb. And I just think you saw the physicality and the strength come through in the second half. It's four set-play goals, very difficult to defend, and it's a rude awakening for the lads.
I'm really disappointed that in four games this season we've taken the lead and we haven't been able to sustain what we've given in the first half.Ben Petty
“But I think we showed in the first half that we know we can play at this level, whether we can sustain it for the full 90 minutes. That's why we play in this competition. I thought there were some terrific performances tonight.”
Arjan Raikhy scored a stunning opener for the visitors after half an hour, but once Josh Magennis levelled, the Latics took control of proceedings, demonstrating their superior experience. There were some positives for Leicester’s youngsters to take, however.
City’s coach explained: “Young Bade (Olabade Aluko) at right-back, 16-years-old, a first 90 minutes for the Under-21s, so we have to take the positives, but I've just said in there that I'm really disappointed that in four games this season we've taken the lead and we haven't been able to sustain what we've given in the first half.
"I think there's a number of things it could be. It could be a little bit of self belief. It could be a little bit of tiredness and concentration. But you know if our lads want to step up to the next level, they have to get their heads around that. We need to pick ourselves up and go again.”
Petty: It's A Harsh Competition
Coach Ben Petty reflects on a difficult night for Leicester City's Development Squad against senior opposition in the EFL Trophy.
It’s back to Premier League 2 action for Leicester on Monday night, welcoming Middlesbrough to LCFC Training Ground (7pm kick-off). It will provide another chance for the players to develop their game, he believes.
The 46-year-old added: “You know they'll be hurting in there tonight and I hope they are, because it's a learning experience and we need to provide players for Enzo [Maresca] and the First Team and that's the level that you've got to get up to.
“You see the level that you have to get to even to play in League 1. Wigan are probably one of the favourites in League 1, even with an eight-point deduction, and you saw tonight how strong they were, how physical, how powerful they were.
“But they also had very good, very good footballers. So yes, we have to learn from that and our lads have to look at where they are and see where they can get to and the next level for them after the Under-21s.”
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