"I think that they are improving. Training with the first team all the time helps them, but I don't think they've had a lot of football," Ferguson said. "But we won't be afraid to play them because they have the temperament and ability to do that.
"I think it [the defeat against Coventry] was a shock more than anything. I don't think they were ready for a game of that nature and forgot the golden rule of cup football, which is that if the opposition are up for a fight, you have to fight back. But tonight they were better prepared mentally."