Jackie McNamara hopes last night's 4-1 defeat by Dumbarton acts as motivation for his Partick Thistle youngsters to make the grade at Firhill.
McNamara and assistant Simon Donnelly took their seats in the stand alongside a number of the Thistle first-team squad as Ian Cameron and Alan Archibald led a youthful and inexperienced side at the Strathclyde Homes Stadium.
Thistle included youngsters Aaron Sekhon and David Wilson from the start, with the likes of Ryan Scully, Jamie Campbell and Shaun Fraser also getting the chance to impress.
Dale Keenan, Jordan McGrotty and Gavin Griffin were given second-half run-outs as the Jags concluded their pre-season preparations with a disappointing defeat, and McNamara hopes the Firhill kids can learn quickly.
"I don't know if it was worse watching from the dug-out or where we were in the stand," he said. "It was a very young side we had out, but there were a lot of things that reminded me of the Blyth Spartans game (which Thistle lost 2-0) and things I don't like to see.
"I will try not to be too harsh on them, it will prove to be a good learning curve.
"But, as I said to them in the dressing room after the game, we have a small squad this year and we are looking for the younger players to come in and provide back-up.
"There were a few things that I wasn't happy with, there were a lot of defensive errors which we can't afford to keep in our play."
The result could have been different if Thistle had been more clinical in the final third, with trialist Jack Boyle spurning two chances early on.
A Kieran Burns penalty had pulled the Jags level on the hour mark before a late flurry of goals eased Dumbarton home.
Boyle was given 90 minutes as he bids to impress and win a deal at Firhill, but McNamara admits the winger's future, and that of former Celtic youngster Declan Gallacher, remains uncertain for the time being.
He said: "Jack had a few chances and could have scored. I think he is still a bit behind fitness wise and that is maybe why he has not converted some of the chances he had.
"Declan is away down south this week on trial so we will see what the situation is when he gets back."
For Dumbarton, there were plenty of positives as they prepare for a Ramsdens Cup clash with East Stirling on Sunday.
Craig Sutherland, Scott Agnew, Pat Walker and Kieran Brannan netted for the Sons and boss Alan Adamson said: "I was really pleased with the performance. We have a bounce game against Clydebank tomorrow. It is a bit of a local derby and then we can look forward to the competitive games starting at the weekend."