Rob Edwards admits his young Wolves side were not good enough at either end of the pitch as the under-21s fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat at Mansfield Town in the Checkatrade Trophy.
A spectacular Pedro Goncalves free kick wasn't enough for a Wolves side which was looking at getting their first three points of the competition after registering a point in their inaugural Group H fixture away at Scunthorpe in September.
After the match, head coach Rob Edwards said he was disappointed with the result, adding: “Obviously no one wants to lose games, and the lads are disappointed, as we are as staff. But we take a lot of heart from the fact we took good signs from the game.
“I can never question the effort, the spirit or the commitment of the group, that was never in question at all, we just lacked a bit of quality at times.”
Two goals in the opening minutes of either half from Jacob Mellis and Mal Benning were enough to condemn the under-21s to the bottom of the four-team mini-league.
Edwards said: “We didn’t deal with them well in the first 10 minutes or so and conceded, and we didn’t deal with them in the first two minutes of the second half and conceded again, and that’s frustrating but we will learn from that. That’s the development stage we’re in now and we’ve got to learn and learn fast.
“But full credit to Mansfield, I thought they were excellent and they obviously respected us and really went for us, and we struggled to cope with the opening exchanges.
“In the second half when we did go 2-0 down we showed a lot of good quality to get back into it and I thought the goal was outstanding. There was a lot of good individual performances on the night. Everyone works hard but we're frustrated in the manner we conceded the two goals.”
Wolves under-21s head to Lincoln City on November 6 for their crucial final group game, but Edwards believes his players have shown they can cope at EFL level.
“Some of these lads are 18, 19, 20-years-of-age and they’re going to be able to do it. They’re going to have careers, but the more games like this we can get the better.
“I don’t want to dwell on mistakes, but we have got to learn from the things we didn’t quite get right, and that’s part of life, not just football.
“It was tough, difficult, and a good challenge for all of us, but in the second half we showed lots of good signs and we could have got an equaliser late on without really threatening their goal. We had a bit of pressure, but we’ve got to really create in both boxes. We’ve got to defend in one and create chances in the other, and we just weren’t quite good enough in both boxes.”