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Disappointed to go out

28 January 2016

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Development squad coach Damien Johnson was disappointed to see his side go out of the Under-21 Premier League Cup at the quarter-final stage to West Ham United.

Last year's finalists travelled to the Rush Green Stadium confident that they could reach the last four of the competition, but two first half goals by the Hammers gave Rovers a mountain to climb. 

And although there was hope of a comeback when Anton Forrester reduced the deficit just before the break, Rovers were unable to score once more as the home side went through.

"We are disappointed obviously, we started okay and had a couple of chances, Connor Mahoney was bright and lively," said Johnson.

"But the two goals we conceded were poor, really poor and we are really disappointed.

"We really had to defend better for the first one and for the second we work hard on set-pieces and give the guys as much information as possible so when we lose a goal to a set-piece it is always disappointing.

"Then we give ourselves a lifeline just before half-time but it just didn't feel like we got any sustained pressure. Our intensity wasn't quite at the level it should have been.

"When we had spells we never made them pay and that was disappointing, we needed to make good decisions and be better on the ball.

"We made some mistakes with our decision making and against the better teams you get punished. And when you give yourselves a two goal deficit it is hard to come back, we gave ourselves too much to do.

"So all in all it was a disappointing night, the players didn't hit their levels.

"But they are young lads, it is a good learning experience for them. They've got to learn and learn quickly. We know we've got lots of work to do with the group in general, so it is important that the lads take it on board and learn quickly."

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