Wigan boss Roberto Martinez insists his fringe players have given him plenty to think about ahead of Saturday's trip to Everton.
Martinez made seven changes from the side beaten 3-0 by Manchester City when they travelled to Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup On Tuesday night.
And despite a 2-1 defeat, the Latics' fourth second-round exit in six years, Martinez felt the trip to south London was a worthwhile exercise, saying: "I felt we learned two or three players will be competing for the first team and that's what this competition should be about for us."
On-loan Chelsea left-back Patrick van Aanholt, one if three debutants, certainly pressed his claims for a place at Goodison Park with an assured display in the back four, while Shaun Maloney and young substitute Callum McManaman also looked sharp.
Ben Watson's stoppage-time goal came too late but Martinez was unrepentant after rotating his squad and vowed to do the same when the FA Cup comes around in January.
"We can't participate in the League Cup at the expense of losing other players," he said:
"Just a week ago some of the players were travelling all over the world with international weekends and then we played a very difficult game at Manchester City and we have to share the effort.
"If you want to be successful in the League Cup you have to be able to do it with a squad. I was happy with certain players who showed they are ready.
"It was a great exercise. And what we need to do now is make sure in the FA Cup the whole squad is ready and sharp.
"We have players who have never played in the English game who needed to get that taste and I feel we are a stronger squad because of that game."
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