Ronnie Jepson gave his verdict after Boro's Carabao Cup exit to Barnsley.
The first team coach was with Kevin Blackwell in the dugout, while Neil Warnock watched on from the stands after feeling unwell upon arrival at the Riverside.
Jepson was disappointed to see Boro out of the competition, but says it was an important exercise in terms of match sharpness.
"We take a lot of positive, we gave lads minutes who needs minutes," he said.
"That's what the gaffer wanted to see, and he knows his hand a little better now.
"I thought the attitude was really good, especially the second half. With a bit of luck we could have got one and made it interesting.
"The amount of games we have to come now, it gives us chance to look at the squad as a whole."
Watch the full interview with Ronnie Jepson in the video player above.