Dev squad: Iain Brunskill’s Wigan reaction

Development coach rues missed opportunities as Wanderers exit Lancashire Senior Cup

Iain Brunskill was left rueing missed opportunities as Bolton Wanderers were knocked out of the Lancashire Senior Cup by ten-man Wigan Athletic.

The Whites, who included Joe Mason, Liam Trotter and David Wheater in their starting line-up, started and finished the game well, but were unable to make a breakthrough against their local rivals despite creating a number of chances.

But it was not just a lack of goals that left Bolton’s new development coach feeling frustrated, as first team manager Neil Lennon watched on from the stands.

“Winning games is a habit,” said Brunskill. “The first team are doing well at the moment. They’re on a great run, with two young lads in Max Clayton and Josh Vela involved, and that has created a feel-good factor right through the club and the lads at this level want to be part of it. 

“That was the message to them before the game. The manager has shown he will give the young lads a go, so that should be their aim.

“There were some decent performances from some of the lads. They were difficult conditions but it something we need to get through, get over and learn from, particularly the younger players.” 

Assessing his side’s performance after the game Brunskill said: “We had plenty of opportunities early in the game but then not really any until right at the end which is a big disappointment because they were down to ten men for quite some time. Wigan defended gallantly but we didn’t quite have enough to get that goal back. 

“Overall it is disappointing because we didn’t really create enough when they went down to ten men and we didn’t have the guile to put the game out of sight, which we really should have done early on.”

Brunskill continued: “We let the game fizzle out in the middle when they went down to ten men at a time when we needed to come up with something different to make a breakthrough. 

“They scored on the break and took their chance. We didn’t. I think the big message to the players is that you’ve got to take your chances when they come.” 
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