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Learn from Villa Park experience

18 February 2014

Eric Kinder hopes the experience of playing at Villa Park can inspire his young side to greater achievements.

Rovers' Under-21s lost 4-2 to Aston Villa on Monday evening, an entertaining game which could have gone either way.

"I said to the lads before the game that if you don't enjoy playing here then you are in the wrong job," said Kinder. "What a fantastic place to come and play.

"Whether it was because we had a lot of young lads in the side, playing at a magnificent stadium affected them a little bit, but we took our time to get into the game."

After an opening period in which neither side threatened, Villa took the lead at the midway point of the half when Graham Burke scored direct from a free-kick. However Rovers responded well and should have at least been level by the break.

"We've let ourselves down a little bit in certain parts of the game and it has cost us," added the Under-21s coach.

"The opening goal is a silly one to give away, Ryan goes to the floor and you know in the modern game that if you go to ground and the striker falls down then it is a free-kick.

"We probably need to look back on the DVD as to how we set up the wall and learn from that because it went in too easy.

"So that rocked us back a little bit, we played a little bit too much back and sideways. So we got it over to them to play forward and we tried to affect them and we gave them problems.

"Jordan hits the bar when usually for him everything he has hit this season flies into the back of the net, then their 'keeper makes a good save to deny him. Connor has also had a couple of chances.

"Then we have a stonewall penalty, I can't see anything else other than a penalty, but the referee, to be fair to him, said to me that he didn't think it was and I accept that.

"So we came in at half time, we were buoyant, instead of being 1-0 down we should have been 2-1 up."

However as Rovers came out in the second half looking to continue the good work shown at the end of the first period, the home side took advantage of lax defending to score three further goals. Jerell Sellars, Callum Robinson and a second for Burke putting the Villans in control.

But it was the visitors who then ended the strongly, finally getting the goals their play deserved with two strikes for Bryan Dabo.

Rovers pressed for further joy but ultimately came up short.

Kinder added: "We wanted to start the second half the same but our achilles heel comes back to haunt us again and you can't legislate for that.

"All three goals are too easy and it then looks like we are going to have another Norwich where we cave in but to be fair we learnt from that game and we didn't cave in and we got ourselves two goals back so 4-2 away at Aston Villa looks a decent result.

"The positives to take out of it is that we kept going in the second half. If it had finished 4-4 probably everybody in the ground would have agreed with that.

"Of chances created we were right up there with them. Our players will be better for the experience of playing at Villa Park."

The Under-21s are next in action on Monday 3rd March when Newcastle United are the visitors to Ewood Park.

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