Robbie Neilson says his squad will learn a lot from Tuesday’s Carabao Cup second-round tie with Premier League side Swansea City.
Neilson’s men took the lead through Ryan Seager but they were eventually beaten 4-1 as the top-flight team’s quality shone through in the second half.
He said: “It's a huge learning curve for them, and it's a reality check for some of them - you can go along in your little League 1 bubble where you think you're doing well, but it shows the improvements we have to make to get to that level.
“I do believe there are players in our group who can get there, but it shows the huge steps they have to take.”
Here's what else we learnt from Neilson's post-match interviews...
Changes to his side
“We knew it would be a tough night for us once we saw the teams - we decided to rest a lot of our players. We've got a huge game with Blackburn on Saturday, so we saw it as an opportunity to play some of the younger lads. It was a great experience for them. But the objective at the start of the week was to win at Blackburn.”
Competing with top-flight team
“We competed well in the first half, but when you play these sorts of teams, they're always going to have a lot of the ball. We defended well, and managed to get ahead. The disappointing thing was not being able to hold onto the lead for long enough to put them under pressure.”
Premier League quality
“In the second half, their quality shone through. I'm disappointed to lose a goal from a set piece. You can understand if the quality plays through you, or an individual bit of quality, but to be at 1-1 and lose a goal like that is disappointing.”
“I know the fans will be disappointed, going into these games they want us to give it a go, but the main objective for this Club is the Championship, so we have to focus on that.
“It's such a long season down here, so we can't play our same 11 week-in, week-out - they'll just break down and the guys who haven't played won't be ready. We have to use these games, and the Checkatrade Trophy, as an opportunity to give guys game time so they're ready for the main campaign.”
“Osman flew back from China last week, he then trained with us for a few days and then started on Saturday, but we were very wary of doing it. Tonight, it wasn't worth the risk. He's going to be one of our key players this season so with this workload without a pre-season in a short space of time, it’s just too much for him."
Late change of Seager for Agard
“Thankfully, there was a positive from deciding to rest Kieran (tweaked groin) late in the day. It's great for Ryan to get him off hte mark – it was good play from Robbie Muirhead to slot him through.”