Paul Stephenson was bursting with pride in his youngsters as Hayden Hackney’s late goal earned our Under-21s a first-ever win in the Checkatrade Trophy.
The 16-year-old substitute glance in a header inside the final five minutes to secure victory at the Pirelli Stadium.
“I’m delighted for the young lads, they’ve grown up a bit tonight and really competed,” Stephenson said.
“The subs had an impact in creating the goal.
“Billal Brahimi has come on and shown blistering pace, and Hayden Hackney - who hasn’t really played in that position behind the striker - is there to put it in with a great header.
“But everybody played their part and the work that was put in before that to get a foothold was really good.”
Previous results in the tournament meant that neither side were in with a chance of progressing tonight, but Stephenson shunned the ‘dead rubber’ tag - stating there was more than just pride at stake.
“The lads are buzzing in the dressing room,” he said.
“They have had a few pastings in this competition.
“We had really tough gigs last year against Wigan Athletic, Accrington Stanley and Blackpool, and two of them won their divisions.
“We’ve been pretty young in the competition overall and tonight we really stepped up.”
Watch the full interview with Paul Stephenson in the video player above.