Joey Barton spoke after Fleetwood Town’s 4-0 defeat at Premier League side Leicester City in the second round of the Carabao Cup at the King Power Stadium.
Goals from Christian Fuchs, Vicente Iborra, Kelechi Iheanacho and Rachid Ghezzal were enough to see the Foxes progress.
Barton made 11 changes to the side that drew away at Charlton with three players, James Wallace, Paul Jones and 16-year old James Hill making his senior debut for the club.
The Cod Army made history by reaching the second round after a penalty shoot-out win against Crewe Alexandra, but now out of the competition, eyes are all on Bradford City who come to Highbury at the weekend.
Here are the key quotes from Joey’s post-match press conference…
On his thought of the game…
“I think tonight we just realised the different levels between the two divisions, not only at financial levels and what allows the clubs to do.
“Both sides made changes with us making 11 and Leicester making eight and one when you look at them, probably one player is worth more than our entire football club and that is just the nature of the beast.
“You still have to be competitive and I thought the lads did everything right on the first goal from the corner, however the ball drops out to an Austrian international – who hasn’t been in their starting eleven, who half volleys one in from 35 yards out into the top corner.
“To a man, the lads got stuck in there together and it really could have been a difficult evening with their calibre of players in the squad. I have told my players that I can’t fault their effort and we go again in the league this Saturday against Bradford.
“It will be important how these players respond. Some haven’t quite made the team in recent weeks and tonight they had an opportunity and they need to pick the bones out of that tonight.
“We win or we learn and there’s a lot to learn today.”
On the senior debut made by 16-year-old James Hill…
“We have always said that if they are good enough, they will play and James has done really well in the under 18 games we’ve been watching.
“His communication from the back has been impressive since day one and that shows to me that he is a leader. He showed tonight against Demarai Gray, who isn’t miles away from getting a call up to the England call-up.
“He had a nervy moment with his first touch but after that he looked very assured, very confident and composed and is a privilege to talk to and has a great attitude to be a footballer.
“I spoke to him after the game if he enjoyed it and you could see he was beaming from ear to ear and he probably wanted to make a full debut and get a victory, however this was a pleasing moment for him and everyone behind the scenes.
“And another young lad, Dylan Boyle was close to being on the bench tonight and he isn’t a million miles away from and these are guys who when we come off the training ground, they are doing that little bit extra.
“Nothing at the club goes unnoticed at our football club and if you are doing it correctly, it will lead you to good things.”