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Development Squad

Barr "gutted" to only take a point

A mistake at the back led to Everton Under-23s taking a point from Friday night's Premier League 2 game at Leyland

30 November 2020

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Billy Barr felt his side were hard done by after Rovers Under-23s took just a point from the Premier League 2 Division 1 encounter against Everton at Leyland.

Brad Lyons was back in the side and on the scoresheet for the first time this season when his cushioned volley put the hosts in charge just before half time on Friday night against the Toffees.

However, just as it looked as if Rovers would get all three points to move them to the summit of the division, a mix-up at the back between Joe Grayson and Jordan Eastham allowed Tyler Onyango to earn the visitors a share of the spoils.

“At 1-0 there’s always an opportunity for the opposition, but I’m gutted for them because I thought we were really good first half, really good with the ball," a frustrated Barr said after the 1-1 draw.

“I challenged the group after the Arsenal game to bounce back and we got that (at Brighton) and we got the reaction again (against Everton).

“There were signs that we didn’t see against Arsenal, at the end of the game, the last corner, I could see everyone blowing, and I didn’t think we had that against Arsenal.

“It’s no coincidence that when you end up working like that you end up getting more rewards.

“I’m gutted for them really. A little lack of communication at the back and then we wobbled a bit, giving them a few opportunities, but then we had some good chances ourselves.

“It’s frustrating, the group are frustrated massively, they see it as two points dropped but I saw look at the positives and it’s a point against Everton, with the resources they have. We’ll take it on the chin and move on.”

Once more, just as they did against Brighton at Lancing a few days earlier, Barr's side lined up with a back three, with the returning Louie Annesley joining Grayson and Sam Barnes in a new-look formation.

And it's something that Barr is eager to implement long-term, with the Development Squad chief pleased with how it worked.

“It’s a new shape to us, I think we look far more comfortable with three proper centre halves than two centre halves and one sitting midfielder as a centre half," he added when looking into the tactical decision.

“It seems to suit us, but there's still more learning for us to do.

“We can’t afford both midfielders to go (forward) otherwise the middle of the pitch is wide open."

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