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We lacked a cutting edge

The boss was left frustrated after seeing his side knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup against Birmingham City

4 January 2020

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Tony Mowbray says Rovers were let down by failing to be clinical in the final third after bowing out of the Emirates FA Cup against Birmingham City at St Andrew's.

Rovers bossed the majority of the game in the second city, despite Birmingham taking an early lead on home turf through Dan Crowley.

It was mainly one-way traffic, particularly in the second half, with Adam Armstrong smashing home a penalty to equalise after Ivan Sunjic brought down Sam Gallagher in the box, with the Blues man seeing red.

That meant the hosts would be a man light for the final 30 minutes, and Rovers missed a host of chances before being dealt a sucker-punch at the death when Jeremie Bela saw his shot squirm underneath Jayson Leutwiler.

And speaking after the game, a downbeat Mowbray was left frustrated that his side didn't kill Pep Clotet's charges off when the chances arrived at the feet of his frontmen.

“It was similar to the Nottingham Forest game," the boss reflected post-match.

"We had a lot of the play, a lot of the ball, but we were missfiring today

“We had a sucker-punch at the end because you couldn’t see them getting in our half, let alone scoring.

“If you’re a Birmingham fan you go home happy, but for us it’s disappointment and a chance to put our focus all on the league.

“We controlled the game from start to finish, but it was frustrating for us to misfire.

“It’s done now, there are no excuses. I’ve said to the players that we have to be better both individually and as a team.

“It’s good that we can control games away from home with the ball, but we have to have end product. All of the ball means nothing if you don’t score goals.

“We had more control today than we did at Forest. We had almost too much possession and maybe that relaxes the brain of the players on the pitch.

“We have to be more clinical at the top end of the pitch."

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