Tom Shaw believes City will have learnt a lot from Tuesday evening’s encounter with Oxford United.
It was City’s first defeat under the interim head coach who could not fault his sides work rate against the high-flying U’s.
Shaw said: “We just struggled to get to our physical and mental best at the end of a tough run of games during a period with a lot of emotion and travel. The lads kept trying but we just couldn’t find that spark we were searching for.
“Oxford are a really good side with some talented players, so it’s a disappointing end to a really good run but there will be plenty of learning for the players and staff. We’ll reflect with loads of honesty and now we have two good cup games to look forward to.”
Shaw was pleased with the impact Danny Mandroiu made as he returned to the side, as well as Jack Vale who made his full City debut.
He added: “Danny linked things nicely and had a few good moments. He is always looking on the horizon to create something on the top line, and we’ll always encourage that, but I thought his work ethic was good and he did his responsibilities without the ball very well.
“We gave a lot of information to Jack about how we set up with and without the ball and I think he got better with that as the game went on. He’s got a good burst of pace too and we just have to figure out the best way to get him in his best moments.”