Simon Ireland said his Brighton & Hove Albion under-21 side were unlucky not to claim three points against an experienced Bolton Wanderers outfit on Monday night.
The Seagulls faced a Trotters line-up that had several players with first-team experience, including David Wheater, Rob Hall and Medo Kamara, but came home from Lancashire with a 0-0 draw.
He told seagulls.co.uk, “They [Bolton] started brightly and might have nicked something in the first ten minutes, but then we settled down and passed the ball well.
“[Nzuzi] Toko and Kemy [Agustien] did well in midfield for us in terms of creating opportunities. It was 0-0 at half-time which was probably a fair scoreline because nobody had really tested the goalkeepers and then I thought we had the better of the second half.
“Charlie Harris hit the post with a good strike and made the keeper work on a couple of occasions, and I would say we were a bit unlucky not to get three points.
“It was an improvement from last week in terms of the fact we played well for an hour against Reading, but in this game we remained concentrated for longer.
“When you’re playing against experienced opponents, they’re just waiting for those little lapses of concentration and then they punish you. So it was pleasing the way in which we managed the game.”
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The under-21 coach was also pleased with the individual performances of his players, given the calibre of opponent they were up against.
“I keep saying how important it for the players to build reputations for themselves. Shamir [Fenelon] and Chike [Kandi] were up against David Wheater and did quite well. We also had two young centre-backs, Tom Dallison and Ben Barclay, who were playing against a big strong lad who’s played league football.
“In this league you’re going to come up against teams that play in different ways, but it was a good footballing game with both teams trying to win in the right way.”