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Mowbray: No disguising our defensive frailties

The Rovers boss gave an honest assessment when reflecting on a disappointing night against Reading

27 October 2020

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Tony Mowbray felt his side gifted Reading victory this evening through some poor defending on a disappointing night at Ewood Park.

The table-topping Royals were slick on the ball and ran out comfortable winners on the night thanks to goals from Yakou Meite, Michael Olise, Josh Laurent and former Rovers loanee Lucas Joao.

Adam Armstrong did hit a second successive brace in one of few things to take from the encounter, but Mowbray was left frustrated by the way the goals were conceded against Veljko Paunovic's outfit. 

“I think defensively we were poor tonight, there’s no disguising it, we can’t come away with any credit for our defensive display," the boss admitted honestly to iFollow Rovers.

“We’ve kept four clean sheets this season in seven games, but I felt there were nerves tonight for some reason, maybe because of the physicality of Meite and Joao.

“We played too deep, we didn’t engage, we didn’t nip in front, we didn’t play on the front foot, we were too deep and that allowed their midfield players the space to play in.

“It was everything that we don’t preach out of possession, but I felt we played well when we did have the ball and did look like we were going to score goals.

“For 30 minutes or so in the second half they didn’t cross the halfway line, and then when they did they went and scored.

“That can’t happen and we have to learn moving forward.

“There’s lots of good stuff from this team but we can’t defend as we did tonight if we want to win football matches.”

However, despite the frustration and irritation, Mowbray is hopeful that his young side will learn from the result and react in the right way at Swansea City on Saturday.

“We’re on a journey, I’ve always said that, there will be bumps in the road, but we can’t go from being the team we’ve been to being the team we want to be without some setbacks," he added.

“If we can keep the levels up then we’ll win plenty of football matches, so let’s stay positive.

“I think it will be an exciting season and it’s a shame that the fans won’t have experienced those positive signs this season in the stadiums."

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