The Sky Blues lost were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup after a 3-0 defeat away at Southampton.
Speaking after the game manager John Dempster said: “We are disappointed because we feel like we’ve shot ourselves in the foot in both the early part of the game and just before half-time.
“The game plan was to stay in the game as long as possible and hope that we get some opportunities through the quality players we have on the pitch. To concede the goals when we did meant that the challenge that was big prior to the game just got even bigger.
Southampton were impressive but towards the end of the game it was a bit of a non-event. They ran out worthy winners no doubt about that. “
Of course, despite the result Dempster recognises how the experience will benefit his sides development.
“It was a great learning curve for our players because the importance to put a game plan in place, take the information on board and then put it in to practise will be key if they are going to develop into having professional careers.
“The biggest learning point would be putting a game plan into place and being able to retain information. The second would be that it was a real reality check, as impressive as Southampton’s players were not many of them will get into the first team or make their first team debuts so it’s a real reality check on just how tough the industry is.
“The ones that don’t get to the first team will make their way down through the leagues and that’s what your competing against, players that will be trying to carve a career for themselves in what is the most competitive industry in the world.
“We will want the boys to be disappointed, digest and reflect on their performances but of course when we come back Monday Morning, we will be back to the grind to work hard and learn from our lessons.”
It wasn’t all negatives though as Dempster highlighted some key performances from the match.
“Malakai rose to the challenge against some quality footballers, Keelan kept the score line down and pulled off some good saves that kept the score line respectable for us.
“I thought Reece Massey when he came on, all be it for 10 minutes, did well for a first year in difficult surroundings. “
Will Bapaga also featured for the U18s today and Dempster expressed his delight at the opportunity to use Bapaga, thanks to the first team staff.
“It shows how joined the football club is, the first team manager, his staff and U23s staff allowed us to have Will today.
“They wanted us to progress to the next round and they have been unbelievably supportive to the U18s and the academy in general so we are appreciative for letting us have Will today.
“He probably didn’t get the ball enough, but the fact we had Will and that the U23s let us play a friendly with them midweek to prepare for the side shows how well connected the club is.”
The Sky Blues will now have a week and a half to prepare for their next game, which is at home to Hull City in the league.