CITY'S youngsters have "a long way to go" according to boss Derek Adams, who was speaking after seeing his side suffer a 2-1 defeat to Chesterfield last night.

It was a youthful looking line-up who started at the Technique Stadium, and they were rocked by two goals in the opening five minutes.

On the contrary, a City line-up which looked more like a potential first-team one dominated the second half, and they left wondering how they hadn't grabbed at least a draw from the game.

Asked if that poor start was a bit of a lesson for City's young talents, the likes of Reece Staunton, Jorge Sikora, Finn Cousin-Dawson and Matty Foulds, Adams said: "They've got a long way to go.

"I'm not going to beat about the bush on that, but we've got a long way to go as a team too. We still want to add to the squad from here.

"Everyone's had an opportunity in pre-season, this game was no different, and that's the main thing.

"They all got 45 minutes, and that gave me a bit of clarity going forward. I had my own thoughts, and I could see in training and games where I'm going.

"This game was maybe about letting everyone else see what my thinking was, and really cementing those thoughts."

City had won five pre-season games in a row, but speaking about why that run ending was not necessarily a bad thing, Adams said: "You can go into every pre-season game winning and that's not always the best thing.

"Sometimes you need a reality check and tonight we have had that. But in the end, we still had enough chances to win the game.

"In the first half, (Ollie) Crankshaw and (Abo) Eisa had two very good opportunities, we should have had a penalty, and they maybe shouldn't have had their second, which was offside.

"But over the night, we had a lot of good play. We could probably have won the game, but we didn't."

Charles Vernam was a bright spark out on the left for City, hitting the crossbar with a header and fashioning numerous second half chances.

He was in and out of the first team towards the end of last season, but will be hoping to force his way into the reckoning for Exeter next week.

Adams said: "We've got good competition for places in the forward areas, and come the start of the season, we will have a team that is capable of winning games.

"They can provide width and speed on the attack and Charles is one of those who can do that."

Midfielder Yann Songo'o was an unused substitute against Blackburn and didn't even make the squad last night.

Asked why he was absent, Adams confirmed: "He's got a knee knock which he picked up in training.

"He's just getting nursed through that at this moment in time, we're hopeful it's not too long, though he's obviously missed Saturday and this one.

"We're hopeful he'll be fine for Exeter next weekend, and it looks like everyone has come through unscathed from this friendly too."