Walsall Assistant and Development Coach Brian Dutton was feeling ‘bittersweet’ after his reserve side’s 1-0 defeat away at Mansfield Town on Tuesday afternoon.
Jimmy Knowles’ first half goal was enough to give the Stags victory in the Central League fixture on a frustrating afternoon for the Saddlers.
While Dutton was disappointed with the display from his team, he was pleased with how some of the second-year scholars, who were introduced in the second half, performed.
“It was a bittersweet day,” Dutton admitted.
“Those young boys coming through can hold their heads up high and be proud of how they play and represented the badge. I thought they applied themselves really well, worked very hard and had a strong mentality about them.
“I was a little bit disappointed with some of the boys. We could have worked harder and gave more for the club so I’m a little bit disappointed with that aspect.”
The Saddlers fell behind after six minutes but managed to grow back into the game as the first half wore on.
Dutton was keen to take a look at some of the younger players in the second half and felt that had impact in terms of continuity.
“We had two teams out there, we had a team for the first half and a team for the second half.
“It was important that we got minutes into the first team boys who needed it and also the second year scholars who are trying to earn contracts for next year so we shared the minutes which probably weakened us a bit over the course of the game and it was a little bit difficult in terms of continuity.
“I thought first half we conceded the early goal which was sloppy play from us allowing them to get the early goal but for the rest of the half I thought we controlled possession and looked the more likely without being clinical.”