GLYN HODGES declared himself pleased with the hard earned point his side picked up on Monday evening following their 1-1 draw at Sunderland in the Barclays Under 21 Premier League.
It was the side's first competitive game for a month and after falling behind with just 40 seconds on the clock, James Alabi claimed a share of the spoils with a coolly taken leveller in an entertaining encounter on Wearside.
The former Wales international said he was pleased with the manner in which his team responded to failing behind so early on and felt they could have go on to win the contest.
"Overall I was pleased with the performance," he told stokecityfc.com, "we were a bit slow out of the blocks but that was bit understandable considering we travelled up to Sunderland on the day and it was a case of getting straight off the coach and then going out to play.
"We got caught cold but responded very well just minutes later through James Alabi and from there on in I thought we looked comfortable.
"If you concede in the opening minute you just have to get on with it. You still have 89 minutes to get back into the game so it was nice to equalise so quickly and it allowed us to get a good foothold.
"We always looked a threat on the break and I thought as the game wore on we could have maybe clinched the win.
"I think we had 14 shots at goal which was more than what Sunderland managed, so to create so many chances away from home was very pleasing.
"Their goalkeeper was excellent and was very busy on the night, pulling off two or three really good saves that on another day perhaps would have gone in."
The match also saw Hodges blood a number of players from the Under-18 setup and he was pleased to have managed to secure a positive result whilst integrating them into the side.
"All three of them [Ed Sanders, Eddy Lecygne and Kieran Monlouis] played well and I was pleased with their performances," he said.
"Ed played the full 90 minutes alongside Alex Grant and he organised and spoke well. He has an old head on young shoulders.
"Eddy has great energy. Hopefully by playing more at this level he will have more of an input in attacking areas and go on to create and score more goals because he is more than capable of that."
The Under-21 squad are next in action on Friday afternoon when they play host to Tottenham Hotspur at Clayton Wood (1pm kick off) and the 50-year-old says by having another game so quickly it will serve as great experience for his players.
"We didn't get back until 1:30am on Tuesday morning so now it's a learning curve for the boys to recover and prepare to go again on Friday," he added.
"If they go out on loan to any league club then this is what they will encounter because games come thick and fast.
"Tottenham will be a good team who will provide a stern test. They will have top, top players coming here so we'll have to see if we can match the performance and try and get a positive result."