SCUNTHORPE United will aim to use their Wembley woe as inspiration to clinch a quick return to the national stadium – and the Championship.
The Iron, who host Town on Friday, were beaten 3-2 by Luton Town in Sunday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.
At the same time, Tranmere Rovers beat Bristol Rovers 2-0 to maintain the pressure on the other sides chasing the play-offs.
Scunthorpe currently occupy the sixth and final play-off place, and have a one-point lead over Tranmere with two games in hand.
After the Town clash, there’s a trip to Hartlepool United on Easter Monday, and manager Nigel Adkins will be seeking a six-point haul.
The Glanford Park chief, who couldn’t prevent last season’s relegation from the Championship, was today checking the fitness of former Town defender David Mirfin, who had to be carried off on a stretcher after feeling the full force of a Claude Gnakpa challenge during extra time at Wembley.
Adkins had already used all three substitutes, so Scunthorpe were reduced to 10 men for the remainder of a match settled by Gnakpa’s strike two minutes into the additional half hour.
“Luton did ever so well, but we didn’t perform to the level we wanted to,” said Adkins.
“We started the game very well but for me we defended far too deeply.
“It’s a learning curve for some of the young players out there.
“We have lost a cup final so there is no consolation to be had. When you play in a cup final it’s about winning it, it’s as simple as that.”
Adkins added: “We are a young team and a young management team.
“This has got to be a learning experience for us all.
“What we have got to do now is bottle up the experience of this defeat and make sure we come back to Wembley again at the end of the season in the promotion play-offs – and win.
“Now we have to learn our lessons and hope we can go the extra step next time we come back here in a situation like this and win the game.
“We have to this negative and turn it into a big positive.”
Scunthorpe, who have an in-form loan midfielder in Arsenal’s Henri Lansbury, will have Ipswich midfielder Liam Trotter and Southampton defender Joseph Mills available after they missed out on Wembley through being cup-tied and injury respectively.