Ian Salisbury insists Sussex’s youngsters will not be damaged by their tough losing run.

He has asked supporters to keep the faith with the county’s policy of blooding teen prospects en masse.

The county collapsed on the final afternoon to go down to an innings defeat at Leicestershire.

After reaching 117-3 - just 16 runs away from wiping out their arrears - an inexperienced Sussex side including five teenagers lost their last six wickets for 11 runs, losing by an innings and five runs with 16 balls left.

That followed a hefty reverse at home to Middlesex.

Before that, they were swept aside on the last afternoon by Worcestershire having established a strong position.

A host of Sussex youngsters have been thrown in at the deep end this summer.

They have competed well for stages of matches but have been unable to sustain that over four days.

Here they subsided alarmingly when a draw should have been secured against an ordinary home attack – and it was tough to watch.

Sussex coach Salisbury said: “We’re bitterly disappointed.

“We had every intention of playing the day out and we weren’t capable of doing it.

“It’s a harsh lesson that has to be quickly learned.

“There’s a lot of people playing in their first season and they wouldn’t have been put under that pressure before. They (Leicestershire) put the ball in the right areas often enough to ask questions and we weren’t capable of keeping it out.

“But it’s never a loss if you learn from it.


“It won’t damage the young players, it will give them huge motivation going forward.

“To supporters I’d say, ‘Keep the faith’.

“It’s part of the journey to creating sustained success.”