Football League managers have lined up to oppose Pep Guardiola's suggestion that Manchester City's Elite Development Squad would be better competing regularly in the Championship or League One.

Asked after the game how valuable the experience was for his young defenders playing against Wycombe's 39-year-old striker Adebayo Akinfenwa on a regular basis, Guardiola said: "They can have this freedom because they train with us. Otherwise they could not play.

"The better would be every week they could play against Wycombe. Every weekend they could play against this legendary striker for England.

"That would be the better development for these players. Not just training with us, the defenders play against Raz, against Phil, against Gabriel, against Riyad, against these kind of players.

"They should play every day in Championship of League or League One. That should be the best level for English football, that would be the best.

"Not playing against these players who are 17 or 18 or 19 winning 4-0, 5-0, 6-0, 7-0 every single day. This is not, we cannot educate them., that is not good for them."

Guardiola clarified that he has no intention of changing the current structure, but his very mentioning of introducing 'B Teams' to the EFL pyramid has not gone down well with those competing below the Premier League.

Bolton manager Ian Evatt, whose side earned promotion back to League One last season after financial troubles sent them down to the bottom tier, has criticised the City manager.

“I love Pep and his coaching methods but I wouldn’t be a fan of them entering League One or Two. If you look at how these lads get on in the Papa John’s Trophy against full men’s teams, I don’t remember them having much success.

“There is an argument for B Teams, I am a fan of the idea, but they should have their own league and play against each other. They shouldn’t be messing around with our pyramid because it is the best in the world and it should stay that way.

“I remember the Pontins League, being a 17-year-old kid and playing against the likes of Mark Hughes and it was an unbelievable grounding for me.

“There is no reason whatsoever that those things cannot come back around but they should leave our league clubs to what they are doing at the moment and leave reserve teams to play against reserve teams.

“People that are not playing regular first-team football need games, they are no good to anybody getting five or 10 minutes here and there and training.

“Regardless of what you do in training, you can’t replicate match time.

“If that means playing I reserve fixtures then so be it. Things were tough last season with the condensed fixture list and the pandemic but hopefully, we are coming out of that now and if football is coming back into normality then there is no reason why we can’t proper competitive reserve team fixtures in a competitive league against all of the big clubs.

"It can only bode well for the younger players to come up against more experienced lads."

Evatt's comments were echoed by Rochdale's Robbie Stockdale, who said: "It's something I've looked into in the past for a study that I did for the FA. I spoke to managers that had worked in Spain, Italy and Germany that all adopt the B-Team model.

"The biggest difference is that in England we have a football pyramid that is like no other in the world. We've got clubs in leagues lower than what we play in that are professional, that have a fan base that support. The whole idea of supporting your team when they get promoted or supporting your team when they get relegated, that competition is fierce.

"My feelings - goodness me it's not for me to disagree with Pep Guardiola by any stretch but I don't think it works in our country. I've worked in Category One academies. Your best players go out on loan anyway.

"If that's the challenge they need, use the loan market. I don't know how many players Manchester City, Chelsea, United have out on loan but I dare say it's quite a few. So if that's the experience they need it's probably a better option for them. I can't see it ever being accepted here and nor do I think it should be."

Further north in Accrington, their owner Andy Holt tweeted a video of Guardiola's comments with the simple message: "Stop whining for Christ sake. You have everything at your disposal and it’s still not enough. If these players should be playing L1, LET THEM GO and buy them back when they’ve been trained."