Alan Stubbs has praised his Everton Under-21 side for rising to the occasion of playing in front of 6,000 fans at Goodison Park.
The young Blues faced Manchester United in a fixture that was free for all supporters on Monday evening and the two teams played out an entertaining 0-0 draw.
And rather than focusing on the misfortune of striking both posts, Stubbs was evidently delighted with his squad's display against a Red Devils group that included two Brazil internationals in Fabio and Anderson.
"I've got to tip my hat to the lads," said the former Blues defender.
"From the first whistle they tried to do the right thing. Their attitude and desire were really good. There were no negatives whatsoever tonight.
"For a 0-0, there were chances for both teams. Overall, we're disappointed not to have won but I said to the lads in the dressing room that when you play against quality teams, results aren't as important as the performance.
"They were very, very good and I was more pleased with that. If you keep putting in those performances and improving, the results will follow naturally. I thought there were some outstanding performances, especially when you look at what they had out.
"They've done themselves proud tonight."
Stubbs also thanked the Evertonians who came down to take advantage of the free fixture and believes their presence served as a catalyst to his young side.
He said: "I thought the fans played a big part. It was fantastic and the lads will have learnt so much from playing in front of a big crowd for the first time.
"I thought a lot of them rose to that challenge.
"You know how good the fans are here. The fact that the Club made it free entry for everyone was a big plus and maybe it's something we need to do more often.
"From the players' point of view, it will have been a huge boost when they came out and realised how many fans were there."