Under-23s Head Coach Matt Gill has urged his young players to learn from their narrow defeat at the hands of an experienced Bournemouth side in their opening Premier League Cup fixture.
Two Tristan Abrahams goals weren’t enough for City to get anything from the match as a Benik Afobe hat-trick saw the Cherries pick up the victory at the Vitality Stadium.
Speaking post-match, Gill said: “We wanted to get off to a good start. I think the stuff that we’ve done the past few weeks, grabbing points, has probably caught up with us tonight.
“Scoring two goals away from home again, you’d expect to get something from the game. But we need to make sure we defend properly and manage the game properly and make sure we’re a bit more streetwise.
“The boys need to learn quickly because it’s a recurring theme at the minute that we’re a little bit soft."
However, Gill did praise his side’s attacking performance on the night along with the experience his young defenders will have received after playing against the likes of Afobe and Callum Wilson.
“Some of the attacking play was excellent,” he added. “But at the other side of the game, we’re a bit of a soft touch. A caveat to that is that we’ve got three scholars in the back four [Max Aarons, Timi Odusina and Bilal Kamal] and what an experience it was for them tonight to play against Wilson and Afobe.
“I wish we were doing it every week because it can only accelerate their development. But this game will swallow you up if you don’t learn quickly. We have an opportunity now to learn from tonight’s experience.”