Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s coach Simon Rusk reflected on a tough game for his team against MK Dons in the Checkatrade Trophy, as they were beaten 2-0 on Tuesday night.
The Seagulls were missing a number of players due to injury and international involvement, but Rusk felt his team showed a positive attitude despite being up against it at Stadium MK.
“Jordan Davies and Jayson Molumby sustained injuries, and then on top of that, a few of the international boys - Ben Hall and Henrik Bjordal - went out, which is obviously good for them.
“We also went into the game without any senior players, so it was a great opportunity for some of the younger boys to step up to the plate.
“The attitude of the players was good and it was a very good experience for them, especially with us being so young.
“We were in the game and if James Tilley’s free-kick went in with ten minutes to go, it might have been an interesting finish at 2-1, but they were disappointing goals to concede.”
Rusk included a number of players from Ian Buckman’s under-18s in his matchday squad, and the Albion coach was pleased to give those an opportunity to impress against their League One opponents.
“It was great for the likes of Owen [Moore] and Rian [O’Sullivan], who have come out of the under-18s from last season. Sometimes opportunity appears due to somebody else’s misfortune.
“If somebody’s picked up an injury or gone out on loan, it’s then an opportunity for another player to step up.
“We believe in all the players, that’s why they’re here, and I thought it was great that they got their chance.
“Although we weren't as potent as we would have liked going forward, I think we still acquitted ourselves to a decent level.”