Lee Clark: Bury boss says EFL Cup tie may have led to Wigan defeat

Lee Clark
Lee Clark's Bury have won one of their three games in all competitions this season

Bury boss Lee Clark says playing a "tough" EFL Cup game on Thursday may have contributed to their 4-1 defeat by Wigan Athletic three days later.

Championship side Sunderland beat the Shakers 1-0 to progress to the EFL Cup second round on 10 August.

With Sunday's game 1-1 at half-time, Wigan scored three second-half goals to consign Bury to a first league loss.

"There were a lot of mentally and physically tired players and the second half ran away from us," he said.

"That doesn't knock my belief in the players. I don't want to make excuses but unfortunately the reality is that on Thursday we had an extremely tough game against a team who've got top quality.

"The team that Wigan have fielded have had about eight days' recovery since their last game and it showed in the second half. We have to be better than we were, of course."

Alex Bruce scored on his debut for Bury in the defeat at the DW Stadium and Clark says he was pleased with the impact he made, in light of the news Stephen Dawson will be out for four months with a knee injury.

"I think he (Bruce) will add a lot to the team, certainly with the quality he has," added the former Birmingham and Blackpool manager.

"We were delighted to sign him, especially after the horrendous news we've had on Stephen being out.

"We needed something of that type and I was really pleased with what Alex gave us with the time he was on the pitch."

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