Stoke City were on the end of a comprehensive thrashing from Manchester City at the Etihad on Saturday.
Manager Mark Hughes defended his decision to hand teenager Tom Edwards his debut in Stoke's 7-2 loss, the Stoke Sentinel reports.
"We didn't have too many options," Hughes explained. "He's deserved his chance. If he hadn't got injured in pre-season he would have played before now.
"It's unfortunate for him and it's a learning experience for him and for everybody.
"Among a group that didn't acquit themselves too well today, I thought he did great."
This defeat could leave Stoke in the bottom three by the time the weekend games have concluded. However, Hughes was quick to point out that this result won't define their season.
"I think it's important to understand that this result isn't going to define our season," a downtrodden Hughes stated.
"We have come up against an exceptional City side and been found wanting in terms of physicality and getting close to them.
"Kevin De Bruyne is head and shoulders above any player in the Premier League given how he can dictate the game.
"At 3-2, we got into a position where we might have got something out of the game, but if we are being honest it probably flattered us at 3-2.
"Players like De Bruyne see this situation and then just grab the initiative and say `this isn't acceptable' and take the game away from you with the quality of their play."