Poor Wigan found it almost as bad against the reserves of Blackpool last night as they did at the weekend against the champions of Manchester United.
They were hit for five at their own DW Stadium on Saturday by Sir Alex Ferguson’s side. Another four from a below-strength Blackpool followed at Bloomfield Road in this second-round tie.
The dream is turning into a nightmare for Roberto Martinez, the popular former Wigan player who returned to take charge in the summer. First game, a Premier League win at Aston Villa. Since then, home defeats by Wolves and United.
Now this. To be fair, there were even more reserves in the Wigan side than in Blackpool’s. Martinez sent out only two of his weekend starters — Paul Scharner and Mohamed Diame.
But the Spaniard pulled no punches afterwards. ‘I’ve learned a lot about our squad tonight,’ he said. ‘It was an opportunity for the players who have not been involved so far to show what they can do and they were not good enough. It was quite clear.
‘Blackpool did not have to work hard for their first three goals. We were not in contention from the first minute. We never played as a team. The standard was not acceptable.’
Blackpool have drawn all four of their Championship matches, so manager Ian Holloway was delighted with this victory.
‘Just about everything went right. I ordered the rain just as their players came out for the warm-up. I don’t know how many of them fancied it, but my lads did.
'All I wanted them to do was go out and enjoy themselves.’
Ishmel Demontagnac was off to a flier for Blackpool, hitting the opener just three minutes into his first start following a free transfer from Walsall. The 21-year-old burst on to a square pass from Ben Burgess and scored with a left-foot shot from 20 yards.
Striker Burgess struck in similar fashion for the second goal after 19 minutes, beating goalkeeper Mike Pollitt as he dived to his left. Pollitt saved a penalty — awarded for a foul by Scharner on Billy Clarke — from Charlie Adam after 33 minutes but the midfielder followed up smartly to make it 3-0.
Ishmel was forced off on 56 minutes with a hamstring injury that will rule him out for several weeks, but his replacement Gary Taylor-Fletcher soon made it 4-0. Antonio Amaya’s headed goal for Wigan in the closing seconds was no consolation to the losers.