David Wright admitted his Under-18s lacked bravery in their 3-1 defeat at home to Birmingham City in the FA Youth Cup.
City’s youngsters had been sensational en route to the quarter-finals, scoring 12 goals on their way, but ultimately came unstuck against a sharp Birmingham side.
Speaking post-match, Head Coach Wright said: “We just didn’t perform. I didn’t think we were brave enough. We weren’t on the front foot and that’s been the build-up to our training in terms of all our possession stuff.
“We knew they would play through their diamond [formation] if we didn’t press and we weren’t brave enough.
“When we went 2-0 down, all of a sudden we were brave enough to press. It was too late. You have to be brave enough from the start and trust yourselves and your teammates.
Wright admitted his side had some good opportunities, especially in the first-half, but said his side needed to be more clinical
“We actually created some good chances in the first-half,” he added. “[Anthony] Spyrou’s chance, he should have scored. Atli [Barkarson] with his header should have scored as well.
“Apart from the one time they split us open and had that one v one when Fergal [Hale-Brown] made a good save, we probably had the better of the chances.
“But the defeat comes from that bravery. We didn’t do it and that cost us.
“The boys are really disappointed with themselves but Birmingham were better than us. Good luck to them.”