Fleetwood Town’s development squad coach Stephen Crainey says his senior players need to up their game if they want to push for first team football.
The development squad lost 3-0 to Notts County at Poolfoot Farm on Tuesday as goals from Lewis Alessandra, Andy Kellett and Remaye Campbell earned themir place in the final of the Central League Cup.
New signings Harvey Saunders and Macaulay Southam-Hales featured for Town with Eddie Clarke the only other senior pro to feature.
Also turning out were Billy Crellin and Ged Garner, along with a host of Simon Wiles’ U18s.
Crainey said: “I’m disappointed to lose the game first and foremost.
“They brought a strong side up and I was really looking forward to it when I saw the line-up because I thought it would be a good test for our boys.
“They tested us physically and fitness-wise.
“A couple of the younger lads played from the U18s. I though they did OK, especially Barry Baggley when he came on in the second half.
“He looked comfortable on the ball and did not look out of place but, for some of the senior lads, it just shows you the next level up and that is bottom of League Two.
“We as a first team are the league above so the senior lads have a long way to go and I just reminded them of that in the training room at the end of the match.”
Speaking about the new signings he added: “They did fine but it just shows you the levels they need to get to to get in the first team.
“They need to be doing more fitness-wise and more on the training pitch to impress the manager.
“In football you are only as good as your last game and we lost 3-0 so they need to be doing more in the coming weeks and on to next season too.”
While Crainey was proud of his players for reaching the semi-final, he was not so enamoured at how they ended the game.
He said: “I treat every game the same though, every game for me is a cup final even in training and playing in the staff games.
“I try and install that into the lads, I know the manager has that as well.
“It’s slightly disappointing when you see the last 20 minutes; when they have not downed tools as such but you can see the game is over.
“I can accept losing a match but do it in the right manner.”