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Lessons to be learned - Mowbray

Tony proud of his players, but insists game management cost them at Elland Road

26 December 2018

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Tony Mowbray felt that there were plenty of positives to take, despite seeing his side suffer a dramatic Boxing Day defeat away to league leaders Leeds United.

Rovers came from behind to lead 2-1 at Elland Road thanks to a Charlie Mulgrew double in the second half.

However, Leeds forward Kemar Roofe scored twice in injury-time to secure a 3-2 victory for the home side.

"I'm pretty proud of the team, for the way they played for 90 minutes," said the Rovers manager.

"The effort, the drive, the desire, the organisation, the commitment they showed.

"To come away to Leeds United, who are top of the table and have won six or seven on the bounce, we should know that we're not far away from being a pretty good side.

"Statistics add up and it's been a while since we've won a game. It's been frustrating at home, even the other day against Norwich City, but we've come up against two teams who have been top of the table when we've played them.

"They are difficult fixtures for us and the next two are difficult fixtures for us as well. We'll keep going and if we show the same qualities, over the 46 games we'll prove that we're a pretty decent side."

Having taken the lead in the 90th minute thanks to a trademark Mulgrew free-kick, Mowbray admitted that his side's game management went missing, as three precious points slipped through Rovers' grasp.

"I think we've had good and bad spells in my period here of game management," added the manager.

"A few years ago in the Championship, we had a few 1-0 wins that got very edgy and yet we saw them out.

"Today, they threw (Pontus) Jansson up top and god knows why we ended up taking our strikers all back and leaving nobody up front to get hold of the ball or draw fouls.

"Hopefully there's a lesson to be learned. I don't think it's something that you take to the training pitch and coach, they have to understand that you need to have people in front of the ball to not let it keep coming back into your box.

"You try and take lessons from any defeat and there's plenty to take today. I was also hugely impressed with their work-rate, their drive and their togetherness today, at Elland Road, which is an extremely difficult place to come and perform, so I'd rather talk about the positives of the team and how good they were and how well they defended for the majority of the game.

"We also carried a cutting edge and on another day it would have been a different story.

"Today we have to accept it, take the defeat on the chin and move on to the next one."

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