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Barr: There's room for improvement

"We were well off our game tonight," says the coach, despite win over Wrexham

15 November 2017

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Rovers' Under-18s coach Billy Barr was less than impressed, despite seeing his side defeat Wrexham 3-1 in the FA Youth Cup at Ewood Park on Wednesday night.

An own goal, followed by a Brad Lynch goal and a late Dan Butterworth strike sealed Rovers' progress and with it booked a home tie against Stoke City in round three of the competition.

But Barr was left frustrated by the quality of performance on display from his young group.

"It's a good result, but a very difficult performance to fathom out, really," he said honestly after the game.

"It was an unbelievable start for us, but then all of a sudden we totally lost our way.

"It was one of those nights that we spoke about in the build up to the game in that we turn up here, don't put in the greatest of performances and we become bad players overnight.

"Half time came at a good point for us. There was some harsh words at the break and the second half was a little bit better, but we are still way off in terms of our levels.

"We'd be more concerned if we weren't creating. The three goals tonight has made me a little bit happier, but we still weren't up to our usual standards."

And one thing Barr believes will certainly need to improve is team-work, with the coach frustrated with certain individuals attempting to go it alone against their Welsh opponents on the night.

"We've tried to remind them tonight how good they are when they all work together, but I felt some players were out there in ones and twos tonight instead of working with that cohesion," he added. 

"Everyone wanted to be that superstar and that doesn't work.

"We knew Wrexham would make it tough for us - they keep going right to the end and showed quality.

"They scored from a set-piece, we wobbled and they could sniff it a bit, which got their tails up.

"When the players look back on tonight they'll have learnt from this. Tonight will be good for their development."

Looking ahead to the third round tie against Stoke, Barr is hoping for revenge from what will be a much-changed team following a heavy 6-0 defeat to the Potters earlier in the season.

"Potentially it could be a difficult game. We're trying to get some retribution on Stoke who gave us a hard time in the game earlier in the season despite being really good for 25 minutes. 

"The team will be totally different from that game where we finished with five under-16 players on the pitch.

"We have games coming before that and some players will have to find some form and consistency before we even think about the Stoke game."

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