The Under-21s were no match for a slick City outfit who ran out comfortable 6-0 winners at Leigh Sports Village
Rovers had gone into the game in good heart after impressive recent displays, but they were taught a harsh lesson on Monday night, and one that they'll have to learn from.
"They are the best side I've seen at anything that you class as youth level," said the Under-21 coach.
"I've seen a lot of League One and League Two football this season on my travels watching our loan players and they would give any of them a game.
"If we don't learn from that then we are foolish.
"The only thing I've said to our lads in there is that they are exceptional players who work hard and they work extremely hard out of possession.
"Now they can be better footballers than us, but they shouldn't be fitter, stronger and faster. They have a desire to go and win the ball back when they lose it and we have to learn from that.
"I've told them all to watch the game again, to be critical of themselves, to see if they can close down as well the opposition do.
"We were well beaten tonight by a very, very good side. We are a young side, whilst they're a massive football club at all levels now.
"There is no disgrace as long as we learnt from it."
The Under-21s are back in action this Friday night when they face Chelsea at their Cobham training ground.