Manager Michael Flynn insists there were plenty of positives to take from Newport County AFC's friendly against Cardiff City.
The Exiles were beaten twice in two 50-minute matches against their south Wales rivals on Tuesday afternoon, as they continued preparations for the 2020/21 Sky bet League Two campaign.
Robert Glatzel's solitary goal was enough to earn the home side victory in the first game before Wales international Kieffer Moore scored twice in the second clash.
Cardiff City manager Neil Harris named a number of the Bluebirds' first-teamers in the line-ups for both matches, which saw the likes of captain Sean Morrison, Junior Hoilett, Josh Murphy and Will Vaulks feature for the hosts.
But, despite the results, Flynn said that he was impressed with the way his side performed against the Bluebirds, who finished 5th in the Championship last term.
“I thought the boys were excellent against a team who reached the Championship play-offs last season," said Flynn.
"We created a lot of good chances and it was pleasing too.
"We just needed that little bit more quality in the final third, but at least we’re creating chances. It’s never nice and I don’t like losing a game - I don’t care if it’s a pre-season friendly or a league match.
"We always want to win and we knew it was going to be a tough test, but I was really pleased with the way the players stuck to what we asked them to do.
"You want to see the players doing what we’ve asked them to do during training and we don’t want any injuries. We want to see a togetherness and so far they’ve ticked all the boxes."
The Exiles enjoyed their fair share of chances in the Welsh capital, with Tristan Abrahams, Joss Labadie and Lewis Collins among those who went close to scoring.
But the home defence stood firm to keep County at bay, although Flynn was quick highlight that it was another tough test for his men with less than two weeks until the opening game of the campaign.
"It’s been a tough pre-season and the matches that we’ve played have all been good tests," Flynn added.
"I think you saw today that we dominated possession quite a lot and Cardiff have got a lot of good players.
"Whenever you play Championship clubs, it’s always difficult. Hopefully we can use this game today now in preparation for the Carabao Cup game and make a real game of it against Swansea."
Ryan Taylor made his first apperance for the Exiles after signing on a one-year deal last Thursday, while David Longe-King - who featured against Bristol Rovers on Friday - played 25 minutes.
"With Ryan we had to be careful on Friday because he had only just come through the door.
"We had to top up his running and introduced him today, so hopefully he will have a bit more game-time on Saturday now.
"David has settled in superbly and looks like a really good player. It’s pleasing to get them both through the door."