David Wright said his Under-23s side can learn a great deal from their opening Premier League International Cup defeat at the hands of Athletic Club Bilbao.
City were comfortbaly swept aside by their Spanish counterparts on Wednesday night after goals from Asier Villalibre (2) and Jon Rojo helped them ease to a 3-0 triumph.
Speaking post-match, Wright said: "We were off the pace in terms of our intensity in possession and out of possession.
"We spoke before the game and we've done a lot of work on ball speed but we lacked that tonight.
"We actually lacked the bravery to get on the ball which is really disappointing because I've worked with this group for the past few weeks and there's been signs in training and in the last couple of games of them understanding how we want to move the ball and how we want to express ourselves.
"I'm actually really disappointed because I don't think we did that tonight."
"[Athletic Club Bilbao] moved the ball well. They moved it through midfield really well and that's a good lesson for us tonight.
"They worked so hard to get in their shape and stop up penetrating their lines."
However, Wright, who continued as stand-in Head Coach after the departure of Matt Gill, said he was pleased to get a handful of players some valuable minutes.
"We got Jordan Thomas 60 minutes tonight so now he's done 45 for the Under-18s [on Saturday] and 60 tonight.
"We also got Adam Phillips who did 80 tonight and 60 against Exeter [last week] and Todd [Cantwell] got 90 minutes tonight after injury.
"The minutes will help those lads in their recovery, getting back to full fitness."