By Dominic Scurr
Under-18s coach Dave Watson felt his Newcastle United side "lacked physicality" during their 5-0 defeat at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
With several Academy regulars being part of the under-21s squad who will face Derby County on Monday (7pm kick-off), Watson was forced to field a young team and admits that it proved costly for his side.
"We had a very young group of players (against Blackburn)," Watson told nufc.co.uk.
"There were a lot of under-17s and under-16s playing so we always knew it was going to be a tough game.
"The scoreline suggests it was a right battering but it wasn't really that way - we had good chances ourselves
"There was about three goals that we could have avoided, but looking back on the game as a whole, some of the young lads made a good account for themselves and this will be a good learning experience for them."
Despite suffering their joint heaviest Barclays Under-18s Premier League defeat of the season, Watson still has plenty of positives to take from the game.
"There was a lot of things to be pleased with," he continued.
"Looking to the future, we've had young players step up and play some good stuff so it's been a good experience in terms of their development.
"Blackburn had quite a lot of second years playing and we just lacked physicality. That can be crucial at this level and that's what happened in this game.
"Overall, we played some good stuff at times but they were much stronger and our inexperience cost us in the end."