Paul Stancliffe felt a 6-3 defeat was a harsh reflection on his players after defeat to Mansfield Town in the first game of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup group.
The U18s manager lamented defensive mistakes which he believes hit his team’s confidence hard.
Stancliffe said: “If we can’t defend then we are always going to struggle and that was our Achilles heel today. Individually, and as a unit, we couldn’t defend and that has caused us the problems and ultimately lost us the game.
“We will pick them up in training and go again next week. This is a huge learning curve and these boys have got to understand that whatever happens in the game, good or bad, they have to learn from it and move on.
“One or two mentally threw in the towel which is disappointing. It got to them and they stopped and tried to hide. Obviously for the other players it’s like playing with a player or two down.”
The inquest into the game has begun but Stancliffe believes there were some positive elements to Rovers game.
He added: “The score was 6-3 which is obviously not good enough – we shouldn’t have lost like that. But from the middle third to the attacking third, I was quite pleased with them. We looked dangerous and Elliott Walker delivered some excellent balls into the area.
“We just need to be more ruthless in both boxes but there was still some good stuff and positives that we can take out of the game – it isn’t all doom and gloom."
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