Simon Ireland admitted that Millwall's physical attributes proved too much for his young side as the Lions ran out 2-0 winners in the Professional Development League fixture.
Goals in either half saw Albion’s under-21s suffer only their third league defeat of the season, but despite the loss Ireland took plenty of positives from the game.
He told seagulls.co.uk, “We played Millwall in the first game and we expected them to come and press us again. It was always going to be a very similar type of game, but we were obviously a bit younger in terms of the squad this time around.
“We have had one or two of the players going out on loan, and obviously that’s a positive and it gives a number of under-18 players, who are vying for professional contracts next season and striving to get into the under-21s, a chance to stake their claim in general.
“It’s all positive in terms of the way the squad is developing but it’s just the physicality of playing against a strong development squad that cost us.
“It is about learning how to get the ball forward quickly without getting into a physical battle and playing to our strengths when other teams want to press you and try to get into that battle.”
The Seagulls also had to contend with playing the last half an hour with ten men after Tom Dallison received his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
Ireland added, “I’ve not seen it back on the replay but it looked innocuous to be honest. It looked like a clash in a wide area, so was a bit harsh.”
Albion’s under-21s return to league action at home to Bristol City next Monday at Culver Road but first they continue their defence of the Sussex Senior Cup at Bognor Regis Town tomorrow.
Albion: Walton; Deen, Hunt, Wiltshire (Barclay 65), Dallison, Rea, Monakana, Harris, Maquire-Drew (Muitt 60), Starkey, Asmundsson (Davis 45)
Subs not used: Smith, Richards
UPCOMING HOME FIXTURES
|Albion v Wigan:|
Saturday 22nd February, kick-off 3pm
|Albion v Reading:|
Saturday 8th March, kick-off 3pm
|Albion v QPR:|
Tuesday 11th March, kick-off 7.45pm
|Albion v Ipswich Town:|
Saturday 22nd March, kick-off 3pm