UNDER-18S head coach John Perkins felt his team can do a lot better after being edged by Bolton Wanderers at Clayton Wood on Saturday morning.
The young Potters had taken a first half lead through a superb pass and finish from Kieran Monlouis and Joel Talylor respectively, but two strikes after the break from the visitors condemned the side to a 2-1 defeat.
The former Wolverhampton Wanderers youth coach was pleased with side's showing in the opening 45 minutes but says they need to learn how to control games after taking the lead.
"I thought we did reasonably well in the first half and I didn't feel as though Bolton caused us too many problems," Perkins revealed.
"The performance levels of the boys were good and the big message at half time was to be aware in the first 15 minutes they would come at us and that we needed to be careful.
"However, we failed to do that and in all honesty I thought in the second half they were the better side because we never really got out of our own half apart from a couple of good chances.
"Derice [Richards] had a great effort saved by the goalkeeper and then Oliver Shenton's cross was headed against the post by Lee Pickerill at the far post.
"In the end we just couldn't maintain our performance levels and got two or three injuries which didn't help with the balance of the side, but that is no excuse because I think we should have done better overall.
"These players are in the game full-time now so they need to learn how to protect a lead and win football matches.
"It's part of their development and they have got to show that now and step up to the mark a little bit more."