SELIM Benachour has warned Latics they must play as if their lives depend on it, as the club fights against relegation from the Football League.

Attention turns solely to League Two after Tuesday night's 6-0 thrashing by Wigan Athletic in the last 16 of the Papa John's Trophy brought an end to their involvement in all cup competitions this season.

And they have crucial ground to make up in terms of points, sitting bottom of the table, two adrift from safety having played a game more than Stevenage and Scunthorpe, who sit 22nd and 23rd respectively, and two games more than Carlisle in 21st spot with a four-point cushion.

Benachour fielded a number of young players in a mixed team, with Academy midfielder Trey Turner making his senior debut and starts for Harry Vaughan, Benny Couto and Junior Luamba, while League One Wigan put out a strong side and bossed the game.

Ahead of Saturday's visit of Sutton United, who Latics earned their first league win of the season against in late August but are a side now chasing automatic promotion, Benachour admitted the pressure is on.

"It was tough for the young lads but we need to bounce back and we play for our lives on Saturday," he said.

"We played against a strong (Wigan) team who are near the top of their league and we can see the difference.

"They were at full strength, they hadn't had a game for three weeks and they put their best team (out).

"We tried to adjust and try to rotate and give some time to the young players and the players who haven't played too much.

"It didn't work.

"We need to forget this and move forward.

"We have a massive game against Sutton and we need an answer."

While it was a tough night for the youngsters, Benachour did take some solace from their performances, most notably debutant Turner, who did not shy away from the challenge.

"I was happy with his game," said the interim head coach.

"I think in the second half he was the best on the pitch. He never hides. Even if he makes a mistake he goes again and plays with personality. He played with a lot of personality and I'm super happy about his second half."

He added: "Benny was also good. He made an impact on his side.

"But I need to find a solution for Saturday. It's coming quick. We have a couple of days to prepare for Saturday because it will be a massive game."