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Development Squad

We were outclassed

Billy Barr was left critical of his side following the 6-0 home defeat to Arsenal Under-23s

7 November 2020

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Billy Barr gave a scathing assessment of his side's display following a first Premier League 2 defeat of the season.

Basement boys before the game began, Arsenal Under-23s produced a commanding display to hit a shell shocked Rovers for six at Leyland on Friday night.

Emile Smith Rowe and Nikolaj Moller both hit braces for the visitors, with further strikes coming from Catalin Cirjan and a Dan Pike own goal to earn a big win for Steve Bould's side.

“We were okay for a period, but when you have a game plan, where players go on the pitch and choose to do what they want, and let the opposition off, there’s your first problem," Barr began when reflecting on what proved to be a tough night for his Rovers youngstes.

“When you get it right but you don’t have people in the box who want to score goals, there’s your second problem.

“I questioned them at half time and I said that I felt we’d given it, that we’d lost the fight. I didn’t want to be proved right, I wanted to be proved wrong.

“But ultimately, what we’d seen at the end of the first half happened too often in the second half. We were outplayed, outrun, outfought and outclassed.

“This is their learning and we mentioned before the game and on the back of the FA Youth Cup game last week, if it’s not going your way and you’re 1-0 down or 2-0 down, and you’re getting caught, you can’t keep doing it because it’s not working.

“If I make the decision for them then it’s easy. I want leaders out there that are prepared to influence everybody, and I didn’t see that," he added frustratingly.

“At 2-0 down, at 3-0 down, we’re still making bad mistakes and continued to play into Arsenal’s hands.

“I thought Arsenal were fantastic and showed what they were. For our lads, like I say, I really didn’t want to be proved right.

“It’s disappointing because we’ve done ever so well to start the season like we have done. It takes a long time to build a reputation but a short time to lose it."

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