Blues overcame the Reds 2-1 in the first round of the Birmingham Senior Cup, but development squad coach Beale admitted that generally his team didn’t perform as well as he expected them to.
“Even though we won the game we didn’t play well and we were sub-standard in a number of areas,” he said.
“These sorts of games are good for learning about players and seeing if they’ve really got the heart for it and are willing to put their bodies on the line.
“Mitchell Hancox (pictured above) was the only one that really stood out as doing that. The desire to fight and work hard is always in him and has been since I first worked with him at 11.
“Of course we take into account that young players are sometimes not used to playing on difficult pitches against tougher older opponents. But even at first team level you go to grounds where pitches are not great and the opposition is in your face and you’ve got to stand up and be counted.
“This competition, the Birmingham Senior Cup, exposes the young players to that and they’ll only become better from it.
“When you play these non-league teams where their players have been at work all day and they’re scrapping and fighting, the boys have got to show that desire and more to go with their ability
“Hopefully the game will act as a shot in the arm to one or two players that might need reminding where they are at the moment and what they need to do to get to the next stage.”
Although Beale’s side was largely comprised of young players, there were starts for goalkeeper David Lucas and on-loan full-back Ben Gordon.
“Lucs (David Lucas) was excellent and a really calming influence on the back four," added Beale. "He talked fantastically well and it was great for me because he was like another coach chatting and organising.
“Ben used the ball well on occasions but he’s still got bits and pieces in his game that he’s got to work on and improve on.”