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"For players to play at Halesowen last night and again today, the application has been magnificent." - Coventry City's Neil MacFarlane

1 October 2014

The City assistant manager believes the experience the young players have had this week will help their development...

Coventry City assistant manager Neil MacFarlane has praised the young Under-21s attitude and determination after the 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace at the Ricoh Arena.

The Sky Blues were left short of options after last night's Birmingham Senior Cup game against Halesowen Town as Billy Daniels, Aaron Phillips and Adam Barton all missed today's game.

City named seven Under-18s players in the starting XI against a side which included former Everton striker Andrew Johnson and Scottish international Barry Bannan. 

Despite the disappointment at losing the game, MacFarlane has praised the work-ethic of the young players and thought City were 'exceptional' during the first-half.

The City assistant manager said: "We're always disappointed to lose a fixture but if you take the context of the game, I thought we were exceptional at times.

"We were fantastic in the first-half and we were really able to push our wing-backs forward. The hard work the team put in was great to see.

"We made a lot of chances and I suppose it was disappointing not to score in the first-half as we made some great openings for ourselves.

"In the second-half, they came down on us a bit quicker and maybe we should have played it around a bit better but I've got absolutely no complaints after today."

Following last night's Birmingham Senior Cup game, Dion and Devon Kelly-Evans, Kyle Spence and Bassala Sambou were all involved in today's game as well.

MacFarlane believes the young players will benefit from the amount of game-time they experience at the club and praised their efforts.

He added: "It's magnificent from the young players. We've got a really tight squad which means at times, certain players will have to dig deep.

"In terms of application to the game, I've got no complaints as it would have been very easy not to put in the work after playing in last night's game on a difficult pitch.

"To play at Halesowen last night and come here again today, it's a brilliant experience for them. 

"They played against men last night on a poor pitch and today, they played against some really experienced players, the likes of Andrew Johnson and Barry Bannon, and it's great for the development of young players." 

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