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Development Squad

Not at our best – Barr

Under-23s head coach felt his side didn't hit the standards they've set against West Ham

23 October 2020

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Billy Barr says Rovers Under-23s failed to reach the standards they’ve set this season, as they drew 0-0 away to West Ham.

Having won three and drawn one of their first four fixtures, Rovers were unable to hit the same heights against a Hammers side struggling at the foot of the Premier League 2 table.

“We just never got going,” said the Rovers coach after the game. “From the standards we’ve set so far, it was a country mile away from what we’ve done.

“West Ham controlled the start of the game, but we were better in the second half, although we’ve only really worked their goalkeeper once.

“We huffed and puffed, and maybe it was just a game too far for them. I have to say, I think we did look a bit fatigued in certain areas, mainly midfield and top end.

“So getting on the ball, dictating play and playing on the front foot wasn’t as apparent. There were a lot of breaks in the game and the game was very fragmented. It wasn’t a classic.”

Despite his side’s display, Barr said there were some positives to take from the performance.

“The positives were the clean sheet, another point and we’re still unbeaten,” he added.

“If anybody had offered us five games unbeaten, we would have snapped their hand off.

“Three wins and two draws is credit to them, but they have to remember how they got those victories. That’s my biggest point to them – we can’t just turn up, we’ve got to do the hard yards like we’ve done in the other games.

“I used the Leicester game as an example, because for 70 minutes it was toiling, working and wearing the opposition down, and then winning the game in the last 20 minutes. We’re probably going to have to be like that.

“We’ve just got to work out how to be better against different teams and get the best part of our game out more often.”

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