SELIM Benachour admitted Oldham Athletic were comfortably beaten by the better team, after a 6-0 thrashing by Wigan Athletic ended their run in the Papa John's Trophy.

Latics had players missing through Covid and injury, with interim head coach Benachour also opting to rest some players who had completed all three festive fixtures.

In contrast, League One Wigan were at full strength, and fresher having not played since December 18.

Benachour said he took responsibility for the defeat but pointed to mitigating circumstances.

"It was difficult. It was their night," he said.

"They were full strength and they haven't played for three weeks so they were fresh.

"I changed the team a bit so we need to have some fresh legs, I played some young players.

"We have some Covid cases, we have some injury and some tiredness so I made some changes but I take (responsibility for) this defeat.

"It was their (Wigan's) night.

"They were better. They have a budget, four, five or six times bigger than us. They are stronger than us and faster than us.

"There is no comparison.

"They are (at the) top of League One and we are bottom of League Two so we can see the difference.

"I am not using excuses but I try to rotate and prioritise some games."

Captain Carl Piergianni has been an almost ever-present this season but was rested, along with midfielder Callum Whelan.

"With some players they were sore, like Pidge, so we try to protect them," Benachour explained.

"We have played a lot and I tried to rotate but it didn't work well today, but it was my choice. I need to protect them, to think about Saturday again."

League One high flyers Wigan went into the tie on a 12-game unbeaten run, while Latics have won only once in nine games - in the first knockout round of the Papa John's Trophy away to Sunderland.

Having earned back-to-back clean sheets in goalless draws in their last two league games, Latics conceded three goals in either half against Wigan, and have now shipped 14 goals in their last five games.

Last night's game was interrupted by a second half pitch invasion in protest against the club's ownership, but the game was only stopped for a few minutes until stewards were able to usher fans off the pitch.