West Ham United Man of the Match Jordan Spence believe that despite the short-term pain, West Ham United's youngsters will become better players following Tuesday's 4-1 Capital One Cup defeat against Wigan Athletic.
Spence was voted the home side's best player by sponsors Mash Media, but after being part of a defence that conceded four times as many goals as the Hammers had at home all season, the 22-year-old admitted it was a bittersweet conclusion. Drawing on the positives, though, the Academy graduate admits that the loss has given him plenty of pointers for development.
"To be honest I am just happy to play," Spence said. "I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and everybody knows that whenever I pull on that claret and blue shirt I will give my all.
"When I get a chance in the first team I just want to show everybody what I can do, it was nice to do that in a winning side against Crewe but to lose this game leaves an extremely bitter taste in my mouth.
"It was a good opportunity for us younger lads to come in and gain experience and show that we are still pushing for a place in the first team, unfortunately we didn't do that.
"I will go away now and analyse the game from a personal point of view to see what I did well and what I can do better because I am all about improving."
The Hammers failed to kick on after taking a seventh-minute lead through Modibo Maiga's fine strike and Spence, who was deployed at right-back for the night, conceded that the back five did not do enough defensively to earn a place in the fourth round.
"We are extremely disappointed with the result. We spoke before the game about continuing our unbeaten run at home and we started really well by getting the opening goal but to concede four goals and to lose the game the way we did is extremely disappointing.
"It is an old cliché but everybody knows that goals win games, Wigan played very well, kept their shape and moved the ball well, but we knew we could capitalise if we pushed up onto them.
"We did that with the first goal but after that we have to admit our disappointment, we will look at the goals again and try and decipher them, but we didn't do enough defensively to warrant anything from the game."
Spence has been a regular starter in Ian Hendon's Development Squad who have been in exceptional form so far this season, not least against Arsenal last Friday when they came away with a 4-1 win. He will now be hoping to maintain their lofty position in the table when Norwich visit Rush Green on Friday evening for a 7pm kick-off.
"We have a lot of confidence and a winning feeling in the Development Squad, it is a culture we want to build within the football club.
"We are top of the league and you saw confident performances against Wigan from the likes of Rob Hall and Matty Fanimo. The boys are doing really well and we want to show we are ready and capable at any point we are called upon."