David Wright’s Under-23s side drew 1-1 at Colney Training Centre on Monday evening in the Premier League 2 Division 2.
The Under-23s boss took charge on a permanent basis last week and the game against Sunderland was his third in quick succession having already played Newcastle United and VfL Wolfsburg.
Despite this, City looked to have fresh legs and dominated possession for large parts of the game, creating an attacking threat throughout.
Wright said: “We dominated possession in the first half by working the ball through the thirds, in the second half we went back to front too much and we moved away from the plan.
“Going back to front so early in the second half meant we couldn’t get the rest of the team up to sustain the attacks. Unfortunately we moved away from the plan and it ended up biting us back.”
City thought they had won it at the end with Tom Scully finding the top corner of the Sunderland goal, but after initially giving the goal the referee awarded a free-kick to the visitors instead.
“I’m a bit disappointed that the referee changed his mind," Wright said. "If he had have blown his whistle straight away then I’m not quite sure anyone would have batted an eyelid. But the referee didn’t cost us the three points.”
Ant Spyrou powered home from close range in the first half to put City 1-0 up, and Wright said he was pleased to have Spyrou as a constant attacking threat.
“He is a real threat when he plays in between the centre half," Wright said. "Ant can use his pace and power to stretch their back four; and when you have Kenny [McLean] in behind him helps because Kenny obviously has bundles of quality.”
Despite a busy schedule over the past week, Wright said the workload will help prepare his players for senior football.
“It prepares the players for what professional football is like, you go in the Championship and you are playing Saturday, Tuesday, and Saturday. I think at times the Under-23s schedule in between games is too big," Wright said.
“I think it was a real good opportunity for the boys to feel that and understand what it’s like to play so many consecutive games in a short space of time.”