Mike Sheron says he's proud of his side after Rovers bowed out of the FA Youth Cup at the semi-finals stage following defeat to Manchester City's Under-18s at St George's Park.
The Rovers youngsters showed their character and quality against a strong City side that included the highly-rated pair of Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Liam Delap in their starting XI.
It was an even encounter prior to Joe Hodge putting Carlos Vicens' side ahead just before the hour, before a trio of late strikes ensured a 4-0 triumph for the Cityzens to book their place in the final of the competition.
“I think once they got a goal up they smelt a bit of blood," Sheron reflected after the game.
“We made one or two errors, we tried to change things and it didn’t work to our favour.
“You have to give City credit, they have some quality players and we wish them well in the final on Monday night.
“We gave everything, we had one or two chances and felt we should have got in behind once or twice more. We felt we had the pace to hurt them, but lacked that bit of quality in the final third.
“We probably overplayed in the second half, they smelt blood and were clinical with their chances at those points.
“It’s a great learning curve for the lads and we’re very proud of what they’ve achieved to reach this stage of the competition.
“We’re always worried about how they’ll react to these pressure situations, and for 60 or 70 minutes in particular they can be really proud of what they did tonight.
“It’s a case of what could have been, but we felt we had a good chance tonight and were in the game for 60 or 70 minutes," he admitted.
“Even when they went a goal up, we always felt we’d have a chance in the final 15 or 20 minutes if we stayed in the game.
“We probably changed things a little too early and we overplayed too much at the back at points which culminated in a few errors."
Now out of the competition and gearing up for the 2020-21 tournament to begin again before the year is out, Sheron is hopeful that his side can take the confidence from the performance into the league campaign.
“We’re disappointed with the scoreline, but we’re looking onwards and upwards, and looking forward to the future with these lads."