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Development Squad

A mixed performance but cup progression

27 February 2017

Damien Johnson was pleased for the most part as Rovers secured their place in the knockout stages of the Premier League Cup with a 2-1 win over Cardiff City on Monday night.

The development squad just needed to avoid defeat against the Bluebirds to progress in the competition, but they claimed their third win of the group thanks to two first half goals from Joe Rankin-Costello.

The Under-23s coach was disappointed that the side weren't able to build on their bright opening display, with Cardiff grabbing a consolation goal with the last kick of the game.

"Im really pleased with elements of the game but a little bit disappointed with other parts of it," said Johnson.

"Overall we won the game, and the two first team lads (Tommie Hoban and Elliott Ward) came through and got the 90 minutes, so that is pleasing.

"We grew into the game and for 25-30 minutes we really played some good stuff, we created some good chances and towards the end of the first half the disappointment was that we weren't more than 2-0 up with the chances that we created.

"You ask the lads to kick on and get that third and fourth goal and that was the disappointing thing, we didn't get our passing going, we lost a little bit of control of the game and let them back into it.

"It is a cup competition and we want to progress, but we don't want to lose sight of the performance individually and collectively. For parts of the game we were terrific, but we want more."

Rovers end their group stage of the Premier League this Thursday lunchtime at home to second placed Sunderland.

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