Michael Jolley failed to hide his disappointment after the Development Squad exited the U21 Premier League Cup against rivals Blackburn Rovers.
The Clarets, currently a Category Three side, produced a battling display, controlling the tie against last season’s finalists, Blackburn, only to lose out to the Category One club.
Despite the heartache of an extra-time defeat in a cup tie the Clarets lead for so long at Turf Moor, Jolley takes many positives and sees a bright future for the club.
Jolley said: “I am bitterly disappointed and there is nothing I can say to the players or the fans to make them feel any better.
“Anybody who managed to watch the game would agree we were by far the better side for certainly the first 90 minutes as we created far better opportunities to score goals.
“We just weren’t able to see the game out, but there is a bigger picture for us.
“We are moving forward as a group, moving forward as an academy and as a club and as disappointing as the defeat is, we have to keep a perspective in the fact we are moving forward.”
The Clarets, who convincingly knocked out Wigan Athletic and Barnsley in the previous rounds, looked destined to double their lead in the tie after Ntumba Massanka had put them ahead on the first half.
But after many missed opportunities and a late equaliser, Jolley reflected on a game that might had been.
He added: “It’s the details of the game that sometimes make the difference when the games close.
“We weren’t quite able to get the second goal and then we conceded from a set play, which is always disappointing conceding.
“I go back to the fact we were the better team though and they have taken their chances in extra time, so fair play to them.”
Massanka, who scored in all three rounds of the competition and five in total, gave the Clarets a thoroughly deserved lead with a stunning goal.
Jolley reflected: “I thought the goal was first class.
“Jamie Frost produced a bit of quality with the assist and it was a super finish from Ntumba. He keeps getting goals so there are massive positives to take out of the game.
“Aside from those two I thought Aiden O’Neill was terrific.
“He is a young 17-year-old who is playing every week in the U21s and, as much as people will look at the result and see we have lost the game, I’m looking at him along with the others who are also doing well as someone who can move forward at this football club.”