Manager Paul Hurst reacted to iFollow Iron after seeing his side progress to the next round of the Trophy following a 3-0 win over Sunderland in their final group stage game.

Lee Novak scored a brace in the second-half, with Abo Eisa also on target against a Black Cats side who saw Luke O’Nien sent off.

Hurst said: “I’m pleased with the performance overall. I know they had a man sent off when we made it 1-0 but I thought the lads did very well tonight. I gave an opportunity to a couple of younger players, changing a couple of things around, and we played against a strong Sunderland team.

“I know Phil (Parkinson) had a few away and a couple injured but realistically I don’t think he’d be embarrassed to put that team out in League One, so it was a good challenge. The lads responded well to that and did what was asked. We hadn’t really had a chance to work with them because of the training ground and the way the weather had been. It was more a case of instructions on the tactics board, and they took it on really well.

“It’s always nice to get a win. It doesn’t matter what competition it is, it keeps the run going at home and to score three goals again makes it a pleasing night.

“I told the players to give me something to think about, and we always say it every time we step across that white line and onto the pitch. It was a chance to impress, just like on the training ground day-in day-out.

“The team passed the ball well at times, we made forward runs and there were some pleasing performances individually and collectively which helped get us through to the next round.”

The boss added: “Novs (Lee Novak) got a couple of goals, and (Abo) Eisa – while he didn’t start the game great and found it difficult – became a real threat the longer the match went on. He picked up the ball, caused problems and got himself a goal.

“The crowd enjoyed his performance and took to him. He came here not fully match fit, was thrown in early and had to come out of the team. Whether he starts on Saturday (at Leyton Orient) remains to be seen, but he needed that tonight in terms of minutes and the confidence he’s gained from it.”

See much more from Paul Hurst, Abo Eisa and Jacob Bedeau on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign-up.

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