Mauricio Pellegrino attempted to sugarcoat Southampton's ignominious Carabao Cup defeat to Wolves by insisting his side could benefit from extra Premier League preparation time.
Saints reached last season's League Cup final, but this term bowed out at the first hurdle, losing 2-0 at home to Championship outfit Wolves.
Captain Danny Batth and 20-year-old Donovan Wilson sunk the lacklustre Saints, with boss Pellegrino admitting defeat proved "a step backwards".
Challenging his players to learn from their weak showing, Pellegrino insisted fewer fixtures could stand to benefit his St Mary's squad.
"The best news for us is maybe we'll have more time to prepare better for Premier League games, and try to learn from (the loss)," said a frustrated Pellegrino.
"It's a step backwards in our way, in our performance.
"The goals are accidents, Jack (Stephens) was really close to the player but he lost the challenge.
"And for the second goal everybody was in attack, one counter attack they were quicker than us.
"But we've got to try to learn from this situation."
Wolves Under-23s striker Wilson came off the bench to kill the tie in the closing stages at St Mary's, scuffing home for his first senior goal.
The visitors made a full 11 changes from the side that lost out 2-1 to Cardiff at the weekend and boss Nuno Espirito Santo was delighted with his squad.
"I'm very proud, it's fantastic work from my players, the way they prepared," said Nuno.
"It's not about building a team, it's about a squad, and they showed there's no starting XI at Wolves.
"For us it's about creating a squad, growing their own identity and being able to perform like this.
"We know Donovan, he's been performing well and training with us for some time.
"He has scored a goal here, but he will be back with the under-23s. Nothing changes for Donovan.
"I've done this throughout my career, giving players chances, but only at the right times."