Paul Hurst hailed the improvement of his young side after Shrewsbury Town sealed a comfortable victory over a highly-experienced Aston Villa side at the Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Goals from home debutants Zak Jules and Arthur Gnahoua put Town 2-0 up before Henri Lansbury’s late consolation from the spot.
Hurst was particularly pleased with the step up in performance after the midweek defeat to Brackley Town.
“It was better than Tuesday night, that’s for sure.
“I knew we’d get a better performance, in terms of concentration, focus, energy, desire, and overall I was very pleased with the players.”
Villa included several big names with former Chelsea and England captain John Terry making his debut, and Hurst was impressed with how his side stepped up to the level of the opposition.
“I’m not going to get carried away, it’s always nice to test yourself against good players, both individually and collectively.
“If you beat a team from a higher division then you’re always going to be pleased.”
Hurst is operating with a young squad for the time being and he was pleased with how the youngsters fared, especially 17-year-old Christos Shelis.
“The signs are good, but we’re conscious that we’re going to have a little bit of naivety, we’ve got to make those young lads learn quickly, and if we can, add one or two with a bit more experience.
On Shelis, he said: “We liked him from the start, he’s a fully committed player, exactly what you want in a young lad, he’s very mature for his age.
“You can hear him organising and talking, you wonder how a 17-year-old is going to cope with that, he had a lot of good moments.
“I’m not thinking he’s going to play 40 games for us this season, but it’s nice that he’s around the group and showing that he’s more than capable.”
With Town’s third friendly complete, pre-season is now in full swing, and the manager was keen to point out that there’s a lot of hard work ahead.
“We’ve got a tough week of training, we’ve played well but they need to rest up.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done, but the signs are encouraging.”