Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino hopes his young side have learned a valuable lesson in their Europa League exit at the hands of Borussia Dortmund.
Spurs were beaten 2-1 on the night - 5-1 on aggregate - by the side sitting second in the Bundesliga.
Pochettino hopes to be leading his side into games against opponents of the same calibre more often next season by qualifying for the Champions League and believes nights like this one will be an important education for his players.
He said; “I’m very disappointed we’re out of the Europa League but we need to recognise we played against a very good team (playing at) a Champions League level, because Borussia Dortmund is one of the best teams in Europe.
“I think we improved a lot, learned a lot from last week in Germany. We competed and we need to take positives.
“We have a lot of young players that need to feel what it means to compete in Europe and I think for the team it was a good test and we can take positive things.”
Spurs needed a minor miracle to retrieve a 3-0 deficit from the first leg in Germany but Pochettino named Harry Kane as a substitute and instead it was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s double that secured Dortmund the victor with Son Heung-min added a late consolation for the hosts.
It is the third consecutive year Tottenham have failed to reach the quarter-finals of Europe’s second-tier tournament and their hopes of lifting silverware this season now rest entirely on the league, where they host struggling Bournemouth on Sunday.
Pochettino drew criticism after his weakened side were outclassed at the Westfalenstadion but the Argentinean stuck to his guns again here as Dele Alli played only 68 minutes, Kane was left on the bench while Christian Eriksen, Mousa Dembele and Kyle Walker were all omitted from the squad completely.
Dortmund also sit second in the Bundesliga, with a trip to Augsburg to come on Sunday, but the fact their star trio - Aubameyang, Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan - all started.
Pochettino admitted Aubameyang’s opener all but ended Tottenham’s chances.
He added: “Your expectation is to turn the tie but against a very good team it was difficult.
“We tried to score and they score an unbelievable goal from Aubameyang and this killed a little bit our possibility to come into the tie.”
Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel felt the aggregate scoreline did not flatter his side.
When asked if 5-1 was fair, he said: “I think so and that makes me proud because I think this was a deserved win.
“We could have scored more in our home game, we were very dominant there, and we could have scored today even more with the transition game and the counter attacks.”