After an excellent Eurofoot tournament, our Academy squad experienced contrasting fortunes in the Otten Cup staged by PSV in Holland over the weekend.
The team won six on the trot before losing the final of the Eurofoot in Belgium the previous weekend.
This time around though, the lads lost all four matches at PSV's training base at Herdgang, Eindhoven.
Coach Alex Inglethorpe felt the team was unfortunate in three of those matches having created chances before losing 2-0 to PSV on the Friday night and then single-goal losses to Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday and their final match, Brazilian Pao de Acucar on Sunday.
Their final group game against Ajax on Saturday ended in a 4-0 loss, clearly not helped by two red cards to Nathan Byrne and Ronnie Hawkins.
Alex felt those decisions were harsh, but in summing up the tournament, insisted the lads would learn as much in defeat.
"It's exactly why we come to these tournaments," he said.
"They'd have learned a lot about European opposition in the last couple of weeks and the players will have learned a lot about themselves."
After the 2-0 reverse against PSV, the lads lost 2-1 against Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday with Massimo Luongo on target.
It was goalless against Ajax at half-time before the reds cards and two late goals in the second half saw the Dutch side home 4-0.
Then on Sunday, Calum Tapping opened the scoring against Pao de Acucar and having gone 2-1 down, Jake Nicholson levelled at 2-2 before the Brazilians won it from a late corner.
"We played some very good sides here, the likes of PSV, Ajax, Borussia Monchengladbach and matched a couple of them," added Alex.
"We played particularly well against PSV but failed to take our chances on Friday night.
"We go to Manchester United for a friendly this Saturday (August 14) and then it's all about getting ready for the start of the league campaign."
The lads kick-off the Premier Academy League at Derby County on Saturday, August 21.
Squad for Otten Cup: Ranieiri, Byrne, Tapping, Nicholson, Durojaiye, Francis-Angol, Stewart, Luongo, Coulthirst, Kane, Champion, Oyenuga, Archer, Ekong, Sheriff, Day, Hawkins, Yeboah.