Three clinical finishes from the French side took the game away from the young Bees but for large spells of the match they dominated possession and got themselves into some positive positions but were unable to create enough clear-cut chances.

Discussing the defeat, Neil explained: “I didn’t think we started the game well enough, for the first 10 or 15 minutes it was Bordeaux that were on the front foot and then it flipped and we made a couple of really good passages of play and I thought that for the last 25 minutes of the first half we were the better team and in the ascendancy.

“We were on the front foot territorial wise and it was total domination, but we just didn’t find the killer pass or the killer moment to get us level. That was the disappointing aspect having had so much of the ball towards the tail-end of the first half, but we just didn’t make it count. I thought the start of the second half was similar, for the first 10 minutes we were really energetic, but I thought once the second goal went in we didn’t do enough to get back into the game and it’s probably the first time that I’ve felt like that with the group, that we could have given that little bit more towards the end of the game.

“Obviously, we scored in the last minute, but I think our quality could have been much better in those periods to allow us to get back into the game.”

On the goals conceded, though Neil said it was disappointing, he found it hard to criticise the players on the opening goal as they attempted to play out from the back before being caught out by an energetic Bordeaux press.

He said: “We didn’t start the game well for the first 10 minutes, but we really grew into it. For the first goal we gave the ball away on our own 18-yard line, but I’ll take responsibility for that because we ask the boys to play and handle the ball. If you look over the course of the season, we’ve not made too many mistakes like that so that’s my responsibility and we want the players to continue to play like that, and obviously we’ll focus on not making mistakes. The second goal was a counter-attack and the third one was a set play, so I think overall, Bordeaux deserved to win the game.

“We had a couple of movements that flashed across the face of goal or where we could have shown a bit more responsibility. We didn’t do it and paid the price for it. It was another really good game and another good test; Bordeaux had some very technical players and I thought they played with a tempo on a difficult surface. It was difficult for both teams so we can’t blame that.”

The Bees now look to a week’s stay in Portugal with two matches confirmed against first team oppositions in FC Seoul and FC Astana. On those tests, Neil says they are exactly the sort of games that the team will need to keep on testing the group.

“We came back after Christmas and trained properly, we played Beijing Renhe last Friday, a men’s team, and today we’ve come up against a really good opposition as well, said Neil. “We’ve come out on the wrong side but they’re the type of games that will help develop the players whether we win or lose. They were certainly pushed today and that will definitely be the case in Portugal against men’s teams so it’s up to us to respond.”