Paul Harsley has expressed his disappointment after the Under-19s suffered a loss in their opening Uefa Youth League fixture, but is adamant that his side must stay positive as they continue their campaign.
Lyon’s quickfire goals in both halves from Paul Devarrewaere, Lenny Pintor, Mathis Cherki and Cedric Augarreau clinched the victory at the Academy Stadium, ensuring Felix Nmecha’s effort proved a mere consolation.
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The visitors settled into action and raced into a two-goal lead inside 20 minutes, which the Blues were unable to compete with, and with a number of players sidelined with injury, Harsley believes he will find out even more about his teenage-side as the schedule becomes increasingly busier over coming weeks.
“We are really disappointed,” Harsley told ManCity.com. “We are struggling at the minute and have a lot of players out – we are missing nine players today.
“The games are coming thick and fast and we’ve got a number of games coming up over the next few weeks so that will be a massive test, so we will find out plenty about the players in this period.
“We need to learn from things that are going wrong and we need to try and remain positive, which is difficult at times but this is what we are here to do. As coaches and staff we’ve got to keep promoting that.”
Despite the loss, the manager believes Nmecha’s goal was well deserved. The midfielder proved an inspired substitution with the perfect finish into the bottom corner – but the plaudits will rightly fall to architect Ian Carlo Poveda, who embarked on a sensational jinking run into the box before cutting back for the striker to convert.
The boss knew the goal would be crucial when he spoke to his team at half-time.
“At 2-1, after Felix’s goal, we deserved that – and then you’re thinking: ‘Right, let’s go and have a good go now!’” Harsley added.
“We said at half-time that the next goal was going to be crucial and we got that, but then again, the next goal was also important and they got that to go 3-1 and then that’s game over for us.
“We knocked on the door, and the Lyon ‘keeper made some good saves as well.
“It is what it is and we will keep working hard to try and get the result.”
Next, Paul Harsley is back to managing the Elite Development Squad, who face Derby County at the Academy Stadium on Saturday 22 September, kick-off 1pm BST.