Matt Gill hailed his Under-23s' performance against Manchester United on Friday, despite being beaten 1-0 at the Colney Training Centre.
Aidan Barlow's second-half was enough for the visitors to head back north with the points but Gill was pleased with how his team performed on the day.
"The lads put in a really, really good performance," he said. "I'm really chuffed with them. "Obviously we're a little bit disappointed not to get the three points.
"Other than the first 10/15 minutes, we totally dominated the game. There is lots and lots to work on in the final third with the amount of final third entries we had.
"But as far as dominating opponents at home, that's the type of performance you'd want.
"There was loads of pressing when the ball was given away, winning the ball back high up, everyone was on the front foot.
"It was everything that we've been working on and could have asked for. As far as a performance goes, I'm really pleased."
City aren't back in league action until October 22 and Gill gave his assessment on his team's start to the season.
"It's three wins, three defeats and a draw so far and the lads can be pleased. They're going in the right direction," he continued.
"It took us a little bit longer last year to get going but as far as performances have gone so far, I'm pleased.
"The last three displays have been really good but we know we need to keep improving."