A 7-0 drubbing by Brentford is the heaviest defeat that Keith Curle has ever experienced. But the Latics boss was still able to take some positives out of a tough night in the capital.

Playing against Premier League opposition was a big deal for most of the players involved, but particularly youth team products Benny Couto, Vani Da Silva and Harry Vaughan, who all completed a half at the Brentford Community Stadium.

In terms of the scoreline, the damage had already been done by the time they were introduced, with Latics trailing 5-0 at the break.

But Curle feels playing in that arena, against top quality players, will have been beneficial for the young trio, despite the result.

"It's difficult to take. My heaviest defeat as a player, coach, school boy. Never been rolled over like that before, but it's a great learning curve. Every day there's a different challenge," said the head coach.

"As a plus point to take out of it, the opportunity for Vani Da Silva, Harry Vaughan, Benny Couto, the experience that they've had, that 45 minutes that will stand them in good stead.

"As young players it's an excellent opportunity for them. I wanted to give them as much time as I could do on the pitch.

"As soon as the goals were going in I wanted to get the kids on and give them a taste and an opportunity to go on that field of play and perform.

"Benny Couto did very well, Vaughany did very well, Vani played in an unfamiliar position but he's enjoyed the occasion.

"I'm pleased I managed to get them on for a good 45 minutes and they soaked up the atmosphere and the environment. They couldn't wait to get on the pitch in the warm-up and at half-time.

"We're 6-0 down, the ball goes out for a throw-in with seven minutes to go and little Vaughany is running down the touchline to go and get the ball, but that's the type of enthusiasm you want from the players.

"It's a great experience for those players, difficult to take, but we'll take it on the chin and we'll go again on Saturday."