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"It'll be good for them to be taken out of their comfort zones. They'll learn from it." - Coventry City's Richard Stevens

22 October 2015

The Academy manager has also praised the Under-18s form in the league after going seven games unbeaten...

Coventry City Academy Manager Richard Stevens hopes his young players will learn from the experience after the 2-1 defeat to Stratford Town.

A Coventry City XI played Stratford in the Senior Cup last night as goals from Edwin Ahrenkorah and Michael McGrath sealed victory for the home side.

George Thomas netted a penalty for the Sky Blues who had six Under-18s players start against the Southern Premier League side.

Despite the defeat, Stevens saw the positives in the players being taken 'out of their comfort zones' and into men's football.

Stevens said: "It's always difficult to lose but the players have got to take something from the game tonight.

"We struggled to deal with the set-pieces element to the game which is to be expected as we're playing men which carries the obvious physical element.

"The players have been doing really well in the Under-18s recently but it's good for them to be taken out of their comfort zone and into this type of game.

"They'll learn from it and it will show them where they're at. We might have a winning team at the moment but it is a good lesson for them to take away about how to play against a different style of football."

The Sky Blues' Under-18s have been on a terrific run of form, which has seen them go on a seven-match unbeaten run, including five wins.

Stevens believes the side can only get stronger from the experience and revealed two Under-17s players trained with the first-team last week.

He added: "They've been going great guns lately and have been playing some really nice football as well. 

"There have been goals coming from all around the pitch as well with a lot of players contributing and that is what you need from your squad.

"A few players have been training with the first-team at Ryton, two Under-17s players were up there last week which is a great experience for them.

"The manager is happy with what we're doing down here and the players see that progression to the first-team as a real and important aim."

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