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Lessons to be learned

Boss hopes defeat refocuses his players ahead of trip to Southend

29 July 2017

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Manager Tony Mowbray believes Friday's friendly defeat away to Carlisle might be a blessing in disguise.

Rovers went down 3-1 at Brunton Park, as a Ryan Nyambe own goal and strikes from Reggie Lambe and substitute Shaun Miller cancelled out Danny Graham's fifth goal in six summer outings.

Rovers went into the game having won four of their five previous pre-season games and Mowbray believes his players were over-confident, particularly in the first half, and ultimately paid the price.

However, he is sure that the defeat will refocus his side ahead of next Saturday's season opener away to Southend.

"If it's right to say this, I think it's almost good to lose a game in pre-season like that," said the Rovers boss.

"It heightens the anticipation for us. I think it refocuses us. I think we were way too expansive in the first half.

"Probably from the confidence that the team has gained through pre-season, we were too open on the transition, too spread out and we got exposed.

"Without the athleticism of the likes of (Darragh) Lenihan and (Charlie) Mulgrew, when you're playing so spread out across the pitch, you're a bit vulnerable on the change of possession against you, as we were tonight.

"I thought we could have scored a few goals in the first half and yet it didn't quite happen and we ended up conceding some. We tried to address it at half-time, but I don't think it's a bad thing for us to lose a football match going into the season.

"I think we've played some pretty fluent football over recent weeks, we just need to refocus and understand that anybody can beat you on any given day if you're not 100% at it all over the pitch.

"So we'll learn the lessons of tonight and hopefully take them into the season."

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