It was only one tweet but one suspects the sender might not have been alone in his opinion.

The season was into its early weeks and Albion’s under-23s squad was breaking up as players moved on, mostly on loan.

“No point in going to watch the U23s this year, shame as they were very good last season,” came the Twitter reply from one fan to news that Max Sanders was going to AFC Wimbledon.

An understandable sentiment. Those 23s had delighted their small band of supporters by following up promotion from the second tier, secured in a play-off final at Villa Park, by pushing Everton all way for the top-tier title.

They had beaten Benfica B in Europe plus senior teams from Crawley, in the Senior Cup, and MK Dons, in the Checkatrade Trophy.

This time last year they came from 2-0 down to play a direct Peterborough side off the park at London Road, eventually drawing 2-2 and winning a shoot-out.

But that’s how development teams work.

They grow up together, develop a bond and then move on, eyes fixed firmly ahead rather than behind while leaving whatever the footballers’ equivalent of a Leavers 19 hoody is to gather dust somewhere.

And Rusk starts moulding a new team – or , rather, set of teams who are showing promise again this year.

No one who followed the 4-1 win over Tottenham or the 2-0 Trophy success at AFC Wimbledon would argue with that.

The next test comes at Roots Hall tonight in the second of the Trophy group games.

These days, Rusk essentially has a team of players out on loan who he will never coach again, two or three who have graduated to the fist team, a senior 23s team from the players he has left and then a more junior side boosted by under-18s.

“It has its challenges,” he told The Argus after the stylish 4-1 success over Spurs.

“I think every under-23 coach in the country would say the same thing.

“But I think if you have a settled line-up week in and week out, if that goes on too long you have got a problem.

“It means your players aren’t progressing at the speed you would want them to.

“It’s a double-edged sword really.

“It’s a problem you would want but, in terms of playing a game of football, you want consistency and the philosophy coming through.

“It’s not always easy for the players to see their mates going up and they are not.

“It’s about making sure every individual stays focused and has their own set of standard they want to live by.

“We don’t look any further than that, really.”

Rusk can understand the sentiment behind the aforementioned tweet. But the job is to develop players and watch them move on.

Last week was a great example of that.

It started with a man-of-the-match display by Steven Alzate before the TV cameras at Newcastle, continued with any of their number making debuts against Aston Villa and ended with a good league win as several under-18s stepped up.

Rusk said: “It speaks for itself that we have had Aaron (Connolly) and Steven make an impact in the first team. That is great for the club.

“It was a wonderful opportunity the other night for the players to have some crucial experience against Villa.

“But the other side to that is what the players did on Friday.

“When the next opportunity comes, it is not guaranteed that the players who played on Wednesday will get it again.

“Football for me, particularly academy football, is about maintaining standards over a long period of time.

“Those boys got the opportunity on Wednesday but the boys who played on Friday put in a performance whereby, if it comes around again, they will be competing for places.

“Long may that continue.”

Some of his 23s really caught the eye against Villa.

Southend will be a different test.

They have already lost four times at home in League One and are being linked with Henrik Larsson as they seek a new manager.

Rusk said: “Southend will see it as an opportunity to build some momentum.

“We have got to go into it the same as all the other Trophy games.

“We will put a team together that will try and cause problems to Southend.

“We made a good start against AFC Wimbledon but we know it is going to be tough.”