Ian Evatt insists the chance to play at Wembley provides the perfect way to try and hit back from the end of Wanderers’ winning league run.
A 1-0 loss at Wycombe Wanderers brought Evatt’s men a first defeat in six games after five straight wins.
The Whites couldn’t recover from an Andrew Wing goal at the end of the first half as late pressure and a penalty shout from Cameron Jerome failed to yield an equaliser.
But with a semi-final of the Papa Johns Trophy at Accrington Stanley next Wednesday night, there is still lots to look forward to for a Wanderers’ side still also sitting fourth in the League One table.
“I’m frustrated. We’ve lost the battle, but we haven’t lost the war. There’s a lot of football left to play,” said Wanderers’ boss Evatt.
“We’ve got a great game now on Wednesday to react and respond.
“It was never going to go all our way for the remainder of the season so it’s a great challenge for us now to see how we can react.
“We’ve got a good game to go into and try and bounce back. It’s a great opportunity for us to show everyone that we can play a lot better than we did at times today and get a result that would get us into a cup final.”
After going close to taking an lead through Gethin Jones, Wanderers were undone following a corner as Wing’s fine strike set up Wycombe’s fifth successive win as they chase a top-six spot.
But Evatt felt that despite a tough afternoon at Adams Park, his side has done enough to preserve their unbeaten run.
“It was a difficult game. In the first 20 minutes we started really brightly and had the better of the early chances and hit the underside of the bar,” he added.
“If you go 1-0 up it’s probably a little bit of a different game.
“And then with the wind against us we didn’t manage the conditions well enough for the last 20 minutes of the first half.
“We ended up playing their way and fighting their fight, which isn’t us.
“If ever there was a stereotypical victory for them, that was it; a set-play and then second half we couldn’t get a head of steam up because there’s so much disruption in the game.
“Having said that, we did really well in the last 20-25 minutes. It was all us with the weight of pressure and had a blatant penalty which wasn’t given.
“It’s not a claim – it’s a stonewall penalty. The defender’s not even made an attempt to clear the ball.
“Cameron is up and just about to head it and he’s just barged him clean in the back.
“You need those decisions to go with you. These are tight games and a draw today would probably have been a good result. No way did we deserve to lose that game.”