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Development Squad

Barr: The red card changed the game

The Under-23s boss reflects on his side's last gasp victory over Brighton & Hove Albion

24 November 2020

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Billy Barr was happy enough with the result against Brighton & Hove Albion, but insists his side have to perform better than their display showed down in Sussex.

A drab first half from both sides sprung to life just a minute before the interval when Jenson Weir tucked home the opener for the hosts before Ed Turns was shown a straight red for a horror challenge on Dan Pike just seconds later.

That resulted in Rovers playing the whole of the second half against an Albion team who defended well and made it tough for Barr's boys to find way through.

But the visitors did finally break down the stubborn Seagulls through Connor McBride's penalty 13 minutes from time, before Sam Durrant came up with the crowning moment in the fifth minute of added time to lift Rovers to third in the Premier League 2 Division 1 table.

“I didn’t think we were good enough in the first half," Barr reflected after the last gasp triumph on the south coast.

“We huffed and puffed and played out way out over the halfway line and continually kept giving the ball back to them in certain areas.

“The game plan was to spend longer on the ball and it was very frustrating. When we did get in the box, the last ball wasn’t good enough.

“The sending off changes the game completely and it was a horrific tackle, a really horrific tackle.

“The lad had won the ball and then for some reason follows though and he’s caught Dan across both thighs. The referee dealt with it and then some pushing began, but you can’t have tackles like that in the modern game.

“Thankfully for Dan he’s come out of it okay, but I’m sure their lad will be disappointed with the tackle.

“In the end, on the possession we had in the second half, we deserved the win. But we did also give Brighton three unbelievable chances because we were so expansive.

“They’re the turning points, so we’ll look at the video and do a debrief, but it’s always pleasing to win so late."

Rovers, as expected, were dominant in the second half, but Barr was still left irked by his team's decision-making at certain points in the encounter.

“There were loads of times where we could have put it in the box and didn’t, and there were times where we tried to thread a ball through and it wasn’t on," he said.

“In general though we played the second half in their half, but there’s still loads and loads of learning to do, especially for the forward players.

“We’ll look at it and do some work on things.”


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