Dennis Wise and Ray Wilkins felt there were plenty of positives for the future despite seeing Millwall outclassed in the FA Cup final by Manchester United.
Boss Wise told BBC Sport: "We had a lot of youngsters out there and I told them they should be proud of themselves.
"They've done fantastically well and if it had been 0-0 at half-time it might have been a different game."
His assistant Wilkins added: "They will learn from this and I hope these young men will experience this again."
Wise saw Cristiano Ronaldo's first-half strike as the turning point in the game.
FA CUP RECORD
Millwall's Curtis Weston became the youngest FA Cup finalist ever at 17 years, 119 days - he beat Paul Allen, who was also 17 when he played for West Ham against Arsenal in 1980
"The first goal killed us. We made a mistake and mistakes get punished against these people," the player-manager added.
"It was a sloppy goal and maybe the result of some wrong information from Neil Harris, which I'm not happy about.
"The second goal was maybe not a penalty and the third was offside but we gave it a go although it would have been better if we had gone in 0-0 at half-time."
Lions striker Harris was happy with his side's effort but felt United's Premiership quality told in the end.
"We did what we could but it was a lapse in defending just before half-time and Ruud van Nistelrooy punished us in the second half.
"He had a quiet game but scored two goals - maybe that's the gulf in class between the teams.
"The fans did us proud, we just hoped we could have done the same for them."