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Development Squad

We'll learn a lot from the defeat, says Damien

The Development Squad chief reflects on his side's defeat to Chelsea on Monday evening at Leyland

21 August 2018

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Damien Johnson admits he saw positives signs from his side despite a comprehensive defeat to Chelsea Under-23s at Leyland on Monday night.

The young Rovers went down to a rare loss on home soil, with goals from Billy Gilmour, Daishawn Redan and Luke McCormick sealing a 3-0 win for the Londoners.

But Damien felt his side deserved more from the encounter, with the hosts having chances of their own to cause the visitors problems.

“We always knew it would be a good test but we’re really disappointed with our start in conceding so quickly. We probably should have equalised a minute or two later after some really good play, but those are the lessons that we’ll learn," he reflected after the game.

“The higher up you go, the better quality you come up against. Mistakes will be punished and you need to be really clinical when the chances come up the other end. That’s a learning process for us.

“Chelsea have some really good players, players who will play in the Premier League and possibly the Champions League.

“We had some good period in the game and I felt some of our play deserved a goal. There were some really good individual performances after we had to change things up due to injury and suspension.

“John Buckley filled in at right back and I thought he was excellent. He’s up against some dangerous attacking players and those are the challenges we’re asking them to take on."

Buckley was deputising in a slightly unfamiliar slot in the back four on the night due to a defensive shortage, with Charley Doyle suspended and Tyler Magloire's injury.

And Damien has revealed the news regarding Magloire's setback isn't good.

“Unfortunately Tyler has damaged some ligaments," he added. "We could be talking 8-12 weeks out, but he’ll see the consultant and we’ll see how he goes. It’s a big blow for us and Tyler, because he is a big part of our group."

Rovers Under-23s are next in action on Monday 27th August when they take on Leicester City in Premier League 2. The game against the Foxes takes place at Holmes Park, kick-off 7.00pm.

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