Justin Edinburgh insists he is proud of his Newport players despite a 3-0 Johnstone's Paint Trophy defeat to Peterborough.
Kgosi Ntlhe's first-half strike and injury-time goals from Grant McCann and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing saw League One Peterborough move to within two games of a Wembley appearance.
For Newport, the semi-final loss comes just three days after the club's FA Cup exit to non-league Kidderminster. But Edinburgh took heart from the way his side fought and competed.
"I'm extremely proud. We came up against a very good side and for long periods of the game we matched them," he said.
"They will know they've been in a game and I can take heart and pride at that as a manager.
"The response from Saturday in terms of the intensity and the workrate was there.
"Unfortunately we have gone out of the cup and lost the tie. But I don't think the scoreline reflects the performance or the game.
"We were chasing and got hit on the break a couple of times.
"The cup competitions have been great for us this season. We've enjoyed it, but we must remember this team were in the Championship last season and we have to realise how far we've come."