GLYN HODGES declared himself disappointed after his side were dumped out of the inaugural Under-21 Premier League Cup by Manchester City on Thursday evening.
The Potters fell to a 2-0 defeat in the round of 32 at the Weaver Stadium after extra-time strikes from lively duo Albert Rusnak and Jose Tasende.
The Under-21s found it difficult to break down a resolute Citizens defence coached by former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira and Hodges says his side could have performed better.
"I'm a bit disappointed because I felt we could have shown a bit more," Hodges revealed, "sometimes when you play against these teams people apologise for being on the same pitch as them but we deserved to be there.
"I think we could have done a lot better and it's just about getting that through to them that with a bit more confidence and belief they will be fine.
"We got into good positions but we didn't do it enough and I said to them afterwards that when we chase the ball and win it we need to keep it better and cause the opposition more problems.
"What I was pleased with though was the fact that Manchester City had to work really hard for the win and we didn't gift them anything which is how we should be."
The side return to league action on Monday evening when they face Bolton Wanderers at the Weaver Stadium and Hodges believes it will be good preparation for senior level football.
"Normally we play every two weeks so there is usually plenty of time to recover but now the lads face a more realistic time span if they were playing midweek games for the first team," he said.
"I told them what they do over the next three or four days in terms of recovery is important and when we play on again on Monday we can hopefully get back to winning ways."