Charlie Patino taken off as precaution but will travel with Arsenal first team during midwinter break says Kevin Betsy

Arsenal U21 boss Kevin Betsy says I'm proud of my team after Papa John's exit at Wigan Athletic

Charlie Patino taken off as precaution but will travel with Arsenal first team during midwinter break says Kevin Betsy

Arsenal U21 boss Kevin Betsy spoke with Layth Yousif after the 1-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic on Tuesday evening


Arsenal U21 boss Kevin Betsy spoke to Layth Yousif after his talented young guns narrowly lost 1-0 to League One leaders Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium on Tuesday evening. 

Read on for the verdict from Arsenal academy coach.

What was your take on tonight?

The fundamental thing for us is to bring players through to the first team.

Yes, it's lovely to progress in competitions or win things, but the most important thing for us is developing players for the Arsenal first team.

We did a lot of preparation on Wigan and we really looked forward to playing this game. There were some changes in their squad but they had plenty of experience too. But that's football, we've dealt with it during this competition all season and relished the challenge - as we did tonight. 

When you consider someone like Reuell Walters was at Peckham Town a short while ago, how important is the Papa John's Trophy in bringing youngsters through at Arsenal?

It's great because it gives us that challenge that we don't get in PL2. In terms of playing at league stadiums and in terms of playing against hardened profeessionals who have to play for their living, week in, week out.

There are dark arts that our players have to learn, that they can only do when they play against senior players. They did that tonight and throughout this competition. 

You must be proud of your team tonight

Witout a doubt I'm proud. We are the Premier League academy that has gone the furthest in this competiton which is great achievement. It is a special night for us if you look at the bigger picture - but I still think we could have come away with a victory tonight. But we weren't clinical enough. 

You took Charlie Patino off at half time - was that a precaution?   

Yes. We have to make sure we look after our players in terms of being ready for the first team - and with Charlie going with the first team on a short break it is important that he is fit and available to do that. He took a knock in the first half so it was important that we managed him there. 

Follow Layth on Twitter @laythy29


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