Steve Chettle was proud of the efforts of Notts’ Under 23s despite defeat to Newcastle on Thursday night.
His side were beaten 2-1 in the north-east but put in a spirited second-half performance after going into the break trailing by two goals.
And the performance impressed Chettle, who felt Notts were unfortunate not to take anything from the clash.
“I’m really pleased with the effort and I think the boys were great,” he said.
“They were up against a strong Newcastle outfit and gave them a real run for their money, scoring a great goal and defending for our lives when we had to.
“We went into half-time 2-0 down so we knew we had to work hard to try and get something in the second period, which we did when we made changes.
“In the end I think we were unlucky not to take a point from the game.”
It was midfielder Alex Howes' first match of the season and Chettle was happy to see him return to action following injury.
“It’s great to have him back,” added the boss. “He got an hour in the tank so hopefully we can progress him in the near future.”
And the 18-year-old is looking forward to getting more involved in the coming weeks after recently signing his first professional deal.
Howes explained: “More minutes is the aim now because it’s been a long eight weeks and I’ve worked hard to get fit again.
“It was really good to get back out there and we have a lot of reserves games coming up which gives me the chance to get nice and sharp - we’ll then see where that takes me.
“I’m feeling in good shape again after the injury so long may that continue.”