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Development Squad

Flat first half frustrates Billy

"We huffed and puffed, but none of it was anything like we have been in recent weeks"

8 December 2020

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Billy Barr felt a sluggish start to the Premier League 2 encounter against Tottenham Hotspur Under-23s was his side's undoing after a disappointing defeat to the Lilywhites on Monday night

Rovers suffered a 3-2 loss against the Londoners on home turf, with the result preventing Barr's boys from moving top of the table in the division.

Rovers went behind early on, with sloppy marking allowing Kion Etete to tap home for the visitors before the lead was doubled through Maurizio Pochettino just after the half hour mark.

The hosts his back through Brad Lyons' header just after the break, but a spot kick from Harvey White put Wayne Burnett's outfit back in charge.

Although Sam Durrant pulled one back with a precise strike, a late leveller never arrived as Rovers were left empty-handed on home turf.

“In the first half we went with a shape that we’ve played really well in during the last two games, but we just couldn’t get going," Barr reflected after the game.

“There's the backpass from Louie [Annesley] that leads to a corner, that leads to a goal, that leads to an unmarked player tapping in inside the six-yard box. It gave us a bad start.

“We never looked to get on the ball or impose ourselves on Tottenham.

“They came out at the start of the game and they were better than us. We huffed and puffed, but none of it was anything like we have been in recent weeks.

“We had a few harsh words and got a response at half time, a quick response, but then did we really impose ourselves on Tottenham when we had them where we wanted them?

“The lads are gutted, they’re disappointed with their performance, but there’s loads of learning to be done."

And regarding that learning, Barr knows that the individual errors are stopping Rovers in their tracks.

Antonis Stergiakis' poor pass led to Pochettino slamming home Spurs' second on the night, whilst a mix up between Joe Grayson and Jordan Eastham led to Everton's late equaliser last time out as well.

“We’re giving cheap goals away," he added.

"The three goals tonight are all preventable, and the referee couldn’t wait to give the penalty for their third goal. I think he’d blown his whistle before he even got in the box.

“It was too little of what we want and what we need.

“We have to take it, look at it, assess it. I’ll probably ask the question about who felt they played well. I think probably none of them will say they did.

“We play Liverpool on Saturday, we’ll see what our team will be and we’ll hopefully bounce back with a positive performance."

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