ASSISTANT manager Ben Futcher says the Swindon Town staff took plenty of heart in defeat after their side gave Norwich City a huge scare before going out of the Carabao Cup in the first round tonight.

Town could have easily folded against their Championship hosts after a late first-half blitz saw them surrender Olly Lancashire’s opener to trail 3-1 at the break at Carrow Road.

However, David Flitcroft’s side showed all the same battling qualities that had been evident in Saturday’s opening day win in League Two at Carlisle United.

A performance built on guts and determination yielded a second-half goal for Paul Mullin but despite bombarding the Canaries with a string of late attacks, a route to extra time was not forthcoming.

After pushing such quality opposition all the way, Futcher says Town’s coaching team could take nothing but encouragement from the performance.

“The lads were fantastic. In the second half, the players came out and had a right go and had Norwich hanging on at the end,” said Futcher, who took on post-match media duties in place of Flitcroft.

“The gaffer and myself are so proud of the lads. They have come here tonight and put on a really good show for the fans and each other.

“We have come up against a fantastic side and they showed great respect to us in the competition, they only made one or two changes from Saturday.

“They have one of the best squads outside of the Premier League, so when they get popping it, it is difficult but the lads regrouped at half-time.

“We made one or two changes, moved Paul Mullin more centrally and he caused them lots of problems in the second half.”

Having seized the momentum of the game, Norwich were on the ropes in the closing stages and only a succession of fine saves from keeper Angus Gunn prevented Town from taking the game into an additional 30 minutes.

“When the keeper is making last-ditch saves from two yards out, I’d say we were unlucky. We had a chance from a header and got some balls in the box,” added Futcher.

“The lads have come here and shown what Swindon Town are about and were unfortunate not to take the game into extra time.”