Gareth Taylor says that experiencing the lows of losing are just as important as the highs of winning in making professionals out of his under-18 side.
City’s youngsters lost 4-1 at home against West Brom at the City Football Academy on Saturday morning, and Taylor admitted that his side were hurting.
“It was a tough one to take for the lads,” Taylor said. “I suppose it goes to show that if you’re not efficient in both boxes, which we weren’t today, in youth football you’re going to get results like that.
“It was a good test of character, I thought the lads showed good character by carrying on and plugging away to get that goal and it seems we were throwing everything at it. There were blocks going in last ditch tackles every time it was goal bound, missed opportunities.
“It was frustrating but to be fair to the lads they kept going and I couldn’t question their effort and endeavour.”
City fielded a youthful side with a number of under-16s making the step up to under-18 level, and Taylor is keen to take players out of their comfort zones.
“Looking at the bigger picture it’s development for the players, this is what we wanted this season,” the 44-year-old explained.
“We wanted the challenge and challenge the players by going really young. We’ve had a few under-16 players with us again today and that’s what we’re looking for.
“We knew that within that challenge we were going to lose games sometimes. In youth football sometimes that’s part and parcel of getting these lads the experiences needed to become a professional.
“It’s not going to be winning every week, we’ve done that before and it doesn’t do anyone any good. As much as it hurts to lose we’ve got to look at it and it’s about a reaction now.”
City slipped to fourth in the U18 Premier League table and travel to Sunderland on 24 February where Taylor is expecting his side to bounce back.
“It’ll be a good game for us,” he said. “It’s within our hands now really. We’ve got games to play against the teams that are up there, it’s very tight and we’ll have a say on what happens.”