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Development Squad

We didn't do enough in both boxes

Damien disappointed with Rovers' end product following defeat against Derby County at Leyland

15 January 2019

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Damien Johnson gave an honest assessment of his side after Rovers' Development Squad suffered a first defeat in five games against Derby County's Under-23s at Leyland.

Rovers bossed the majority of the game at the Lancashire FA HQ, shwoing slick passing to work a number of decent opportunities.

Poor finishing and good goalkeepeing ended up letting the young Blues down on the night as Cameron Cresswell put the Rams in command before Jack Vale pulled one back for Rovers with a header.

A superb Calum MacDonald free kick made the game safe for the visitors late on, and Johnson was left ruing his team's quality in both boxes.

“We're disappointed. Overall I felt that they had more quality than us in the final third with their conversion rate," the Northern Irishman said after the game.

“We worked good opportunities, but we didn't test their goalkeeper enough or produce the required quality when we did get into the box.

“It's something we need to learn from.

“The group is aware that we need to do more. Take Brad Lyons and Joe out of the team and we need to make sure others are scoring. Those two players have around 10 or 12 goals between them.

“Who's going to step up? Are we still going to have an impact in the final third? That's the challenge.

“But we've conceded three goals, which is a frustrating aspect. We've been pretty good at keeping clean sheets recently, which were achieved away at Arsenal and away at Chelsea.

“In both boxes we need to be better.”

Johnson's charges are next in action on Monday 21st January against Sheffield United in the Premier League Cup.

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