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Luton were the better team

24 February 2016

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Whilst Under-18s lead coach Billy Barr was pleased to see Rovers reach the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup, he was far from happy with the way his team performed on Tuesday night.

Lewis Hardcastle's 12th minute free-kick proved to be the difference between the two sides as Rovers overcame Luton Town at Ewood Park, but they were given a stern test of their credentials by the hardworking Hatters.

After impressing in the previous rounds to knock out Aston Villa and Leicester City, Barr felt their standards had dropped, and insists they must improve if they are have any success in the last four of the competition.

"I think we've underestimated Luton and they were a very good team," Barr told Rovers Player.

"They won their league, they've not lost many games this season with the way they play, and if I'm being totally honest they were the better team on the night.

"We've got the result but I feel for Luton as they've been the better team. I think they surprised the lads out there. We'd done our work, we've tried to get our message across to the lads but for some reason we've turned up and froze a little bit.

"We did okay at the start, got the goal early, but then took our foot off the gas and found it hard to get back on it. We've got to be better, we've got to learn from that.

"The lads are quiet in there, they are down, they know they've not done it again at Ewood which is a worry as we've a semi-final coming up and we've got to play here again.

"So we've got to do something that helps alleviate the pressure of here that they put it on themselves.

"As a football club we've got to be performing better than that if we want to be getting players into our Under-21s and ultimately our first team.

"Paul Lambert nipped in at half-time and at the end of the game and was harsh with his words - as we all were."

Rovers will now face the winners of the Chelsea verses Reading tie that takes place this Friday night. The semi-finals will be played over two legs, with the tie at Ewood Park featuring first.

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