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Development Squad

Barr pleased with Rovers' response

The second half improvement from his side impressed Billy Barr, on his first outing as Under-23s chief

20 August 2019

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Billy Barr's got off to an unbeaten start to life as Development Squad chief, and he was pleased with the second half showing in the Under-23s' entertaining draw against Leicester City on Monday night.

Joe Grayson's second half equaliser against The Foxes earned a deserved share of the spoils in Barr's first official outing as boss, with the appointment confirmed on Monday afternoon.

The reign got off to the worst possible start when Ali Reghba's tucked beyond Andy Fisher from close range after just two minutes of play at the King Power Stadium.

Rovers responded excellently after the break, and after Grayson's equaliser the visitors could well have gone on to win the encounter, which left Barr impressed by his side's battling qualities.

“I didn't think we were great in the first half aside from a good first 30 seconds," he reflected after the game.

"From that corner we were done on the counter attack, and although I'm not sure whether it was offside or not, the goal was given.

“We wobbled, the shape wasn't good and we were too open at times. We got in at half time and spoke about securing the ball better and to ensure we have good supporting positions when in possession, but also to have a first line of defence when out of possession.

“I thought we were really good in the second half and could well have gone on to win the game.

“We tinkered with things in the second half. Charley Doyle went to right back, Brad Lyons moved to central midfield and Joe [Rankin-Costello] moved just behind the striker. It looked better that way, to be honest.

“We were picking pockets, created numerous half-chances, and on another night we could have scored a few more goals," he said.

“It's good for morale to come here and get a point, although we nearly threw it away at the end when Matty [Platt] sliced it into the path of their forward."

The best of those late opportunities fell to Stefan Mols right at the death, with the experienced Eldin Jakupovic equal to the Spanish winger's attempt at goal.

And Barr admitted that he was happy to see his side go out to try and win the game rather than cling on to what they had.

“We're still going, we still want to be creative, I'll never set a team out to simply defend, I want us to open teams up and score some goals," he added.

“We nearly did through Stef at the end, but nearly lost it as well late on."

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