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Development Squad

Barr: We have to be better

“First half wasn’t good enough, second half was better, but didn’t start that way"

9 November 2019

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Billy Barr was left frustrated by his side's lacklustre first half display despite Rovers Under-23s making it two wins from two in the Premier League Cup group stage.

Late strikes from Dan Butterworth, Joe Rankin-Costello and substitute Jack Vale saw Rovers continue their 100%% record in Group G with a second successive 3-1 win in the competition, at the expense of Middlesbrough's Under-23s.

Joseph Gibson's early goal had given Boro an early advantage at a chilly Leyland County Ground before Rovers battled back with three goals arriving in the final 15 minutes.

Barr gave an honest assessment after the cup clash, and gave a damning verdict of the first half display from his charges.

“First half, it was terrible, all round, a lack of bravery to get on the ball and lack of options when people did decide to get on the ball," he reflected.

“There was a lack of workrate and we were outgunned by a young and hungry Middlesbrough team.

“That’s what we said at half time. I was delighted to only be one down. We could have been 4-0 down after six minutes.

“My job isn’t to come in and have a go at them, but to remind them that the gaffer is here watching. That’s everyone.

"We could be on the crest of a crisis, be it injuries or suspensions, and he’s looking at everybody, not just the seniors," he added.

“First half wasn’t good enough, second half was better, but didn’t start that way. But it was a lot better and more enjoyable for them to play in.

“Parts of the second half, particularly latterly, reminded me of the Tottenham game and that’s the way I want us to play.”

Rovers currently sit on six points at the summit of Group G, with Burnley next up in the competition on Friday 29th November, kick-off 1pm at Ewood Park.

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