Scot Gemmill hopes his Scotland Under-21 side learned from a harsh lesson in their 2-1 friendly defeat by Iceland at Fir Park.
The young Scots started with pace and purpose and created several chances, but they led only 1-0 at the interval thanks to a goal on the half-hour mark by debutant Max Johnston, on loan at Cove Rangers from Motherwell.
However, in a marked turnaround after the break, Iceland attacker Kristall Mani Ingason levelled two minutes into the second half and then converted a penalty in the 59th minute for the winner.
Gemmill noted eight debutants by the end of the night and looked ahead to the next European Championship qualification campaign, which begins in 2023.
“Really exciting to see the players in the first half with how dangerous we can be and how many chances we created,” he said.
“But you have to take them and you have to credit Iceland in the second half because they really hustled us in the first 20 minutes. That is the real learning point of the game.
“I’ve spoken to the players because that’s the challenge. We’ve got a lot of new players who need to get up to speed with the level, but we have to keep it in context in working towards this new generation of players.
“We’re not going home too disappointed because of the first half.
“The first 20 minutes of the second half, ridiculously, could help us next year because we need to show that level and they need that reaction.
“Now it’s happened to a lot of them who are still learning the level, we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”