Waterford FC caretaker manager Mike Geoghegan focused on the upsides despite a 7-0 defeat at home to Drogheda United in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division and emphasised that getting the "right caliber" of management team in charge of the club was key for the short-term aim of salvaging their season.
The Blues came into Saturday's game in difficult circumstances. They fielded their Under-19 team after two of their senior players were deemed close contacts of a confirmed Covid-19 case, with Waterford subsequently standing down their senior team.
Geoghegan was also in interim charge following the bottom side's parting of ways with manager Kevin Sheedy earlier this week.
In the context of a turbulent week and the absence of the senior squad, the Waterford caretaker boss felt his side's eventual defeat to Drogheda was no worse than he had feared ahead of kick-off.
"It went a little bit better than we'd hoped in the second half because these guys haven't played a pre-season match," he told RTÉ Sport.
We need your consent to load this comcast-player contentWe use comcast-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences
"You lose your two centre-backs because they're two weeks off being 18-years-of-age so it's very, very tough. You're putting players into new positions, they haven't played a friendly and they're up against a Premier Division football team so it's very, very challenging for them."
Describing his players on the day as "brave", Geoghegan added that his half-time message when they were five goals down was to try not to concede for the first 20 minutes of the second period - which they duly surpassed by almost 10 minutes.
He also admitted that there is a strong possibility that Waterford will have to field their Under-19s against Sligo Rovers next week again due to the Covid protocols in place.
Waterford's thoughts now turn to the future as they search for a new management team and look to move away from the bottom of the table.
"I think the last two appointments were very well intentioned. It just didn't work out for the club," said Geoghegan.
"We have the structures in place, we have the training ground, we have the facility here and we have a very strong academy coming through which will produce results.
"But in the short-term, it depends on who can come in to get a fix on that first team and get them playing.
He added: "The long-term prognosis is good in terms of the structures but you're judged by your first team's results and performance and if that's been shabby, that's what's held against you so the first thing is the right caliber of management to get the first-team young lad playing. The first team, with one or two exceptions, is a year or two older than the 19s."
Drogheda boss Tim Clancy said he was pleased with his own's side professional approach in the unusual context.
"From the warm-up to the end of the game, I was very happy with the professionalism and the output of energy and decision-making from the players," he said.