Sunderland Under-23 coach Elliott Dickman has told his youngsters to learn quickly following their relegation from Premier League 2.
The 2017-18 campaign has proved disastrous for the Black Cats, with the Under-23s relegated 48-hours after the first team suffered the humiliation of successive relegations.
Dickman's side were relegated from division one of Premier League Two on Monday evening after losing 1-0 to Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.
The young Black Cats needed to win their game, and hope that relegation rivals Derby County lost at Leicester City. The Rams did lose 3-1 at Leicester but Sunderland were unable to take advantage.
Dickman, reflecting on relegation, said: "Swansea had a lot of the ball but we made it difficult. The plan was to frustrate them, stay in the game and pinch a goal.
"We did that and then Luke Molyneux had a chance but unfortunately he wasn’t able to take it and then less than 60 seconds later they went down the other end and scored.
"It has been a tough season but we have got a lot of lads in the first-team squad. That’s what is important to us.
"That has given us a chance to play some of the younger lads and when you look at Bali Mumba he is still at school.
"It’s great for them to be given a chance but they must learn quickly.
"We need to improve in the final third and be more clinical. We haven’t scored enough goals so of course that’s an area that’s of concern to us.
"The lads we have got in our team are still learning and developing and it’s important they continue to do so."