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A terrific win on a poor pitch - Damien

24 January 2017

Damien Johnson was delighted with Rovers’ second-half showing in Monday’s 4-0 Premier League Cup triumph over Burnley.

After a goalless first period, Rovers put their local rivals to the sword after the break, with Anthony Stokes and captain Matty Platt scoring two goals apiece.

With the game, which was played at Morecambe's Globe Arena, only passing a late pitch inspection, Johnson was pleased with the way his side coped with the conditions and the attitude his players showed to claim the derby day spoils.

"We're very pleased - it was a good result in the end," said the development squad head coach.

"I thought the first half was tight enough, with us having some good opportunities which we didn't capitalise on, but we knew it would be a little bit frantic with it being a derby and the pitch wasn't the best, but we managed to get the goal early in the second half and I thought at times, despite the pitch, we played some terrific stuff.

"We just asked them for a little bit more quality in the final third (in the second half) and obviously it came from two set-pieces, but we know that if we get quality deliveries and we get movement in the box, we are a threat and we got that in the second half.

"It's always nice to hit the back of the net. There's been times when goals have been hard to come by for us, so hopefully that gives us a bit of confidence.

"Our performances have been up and down this season, but they showed today both sides of the game. There was the physical element of the game, with it being a derby match, but then they showed their quality on a pitch that wasn't really conducive to good football, so we're really pleased."

The convincing win sees Rovers move a step closer to the last 16 of the competition, as they now sit second in Group B, one point behind leaders Sunderland.

And Johnson admits it is important that his young side progress.

"The most important thing for these lads is that they play games and the further we can get the more games there is and that's what is key for their development - that they keep playing," he added.

"So if we can get out the group it means another game and that's what's important.

"We want to get into the next round, that's for sure. The young lads who came on, Stefan (Mols) and Joe (Grayson), we want to try and give them more opportunity to play, so the more games we have the better."

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