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Development Squad

A fantastic fightback, says Damien

“We knew it was a tough challenge at 2-0 down so for the players it was a test of their character and personality"

12 March 2019

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Rovers Development Squad chief Damien Johnson was pleased with the fightback shown from his team in the entertaining 2-2 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion Under-23s on Monday evening.

Played in tough conditions at Leyland, the visitors from Sussex took a 2-0 lead into half time after Max Sanders’ brace.

However Rovers showed their battling qualities, and after an own goal gave the hosts hope, Harry Chapman levelled things up midway through the second half.

Johnson was impressed with the spirit shown by his young team.

“Brighton are a good side at this level. They are up there towards the top of the league and we knew they would be a threat at the top end of the pitch,” he began.

“They have some good players throughout their team. We started really well, with Danny's [Butterworth] chance in the first minute, so we were disappointed with the goals we conceded but every credit to the lads for coming back.

“We talked about starting the second half on the front foot, like we started the first half, but ensuring we didn't concede. It was important we got the third goal in the game as that was always going to be key. If there was one criticism at half-time, and they highlighted it themselves, we weren’t as clinical as we should have been given the chances we created and final third entries that we had.

“That’s something that they must learn from, in terms of the quality of their delivery or movement in getting across the keeper, whatever it may be. So there is lots for them to take from it from a development point of view,” he added.

“We knew it was a tough challenge at 2-0 down so for the players it was a test of their character and personality. Were they going to feel sorry for themselves not having scored a goal with the chances created in the first half or could they go again?

“I knew Brighton were disciplined and organised and we’d have to work for our opportunities which we did. I’m pleased overall because you give a side two goals at any level it’s difficult.

“Overall it was pleasing to get a result. We probably would have taken 2-2 at half time."

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