Younes Kaboul said the team was pleased with the performance at Stoke, despite going out of the Carling Cup.
The French international was outstanding alongside central defensive partner Sebastien Bassong as the third round tie finished goalless after 90 minutes and extra time at the Britannia Stadium.
In the end, the Potters won 7-6 in a penalty shoot-out, with Roman Pavlyuchenko and then Massimo Luongo, on his debut, missing from the spot.
That shouldn’t take away from Massimo’s first appearance, off the bench in the second half, while Jake Livermore, Tom Carroll and Andros Townsend all impressed again.
“Everyone was happy with the performance, even though we lost, but penalties is all about luck, really,” said Younes.
“We played very well. I’m happy because we’ve improved and the young players played unbelievably well.
“Massimo is okay, it was unlucky. He came on, did well and helped us a lot. A penalty is chance, inside or out and it went the keeper’s way.
“You know it is a tough game at Stoke but we didn’t concede any goals. Okay, we didn’t have many chances either and it was a tight game, but I thought everyone did well.”