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We showed both sides to our game today

Attacking threat and defensive determination please boss Billy Barr after 1-0 win over Saints

18 October 2020

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Billy Barr was delighted to see his players show both sides to their game, as Rovers Under-23s ran out 1-0 winners away to Southampton.

Connor McBride netted the game’s only goal on 12 minutes, volleying home Dan Pike’s cross for his fifth goal in Rovers colours following his summer switch from Celtic.

Rovers dominated the first half, creating countless chances, before having to show some dogged determination after the break to secure the points, which continues their impressive start to the new season.

Speaking after the game, Barr said: “I’m happy for them, because they’ve shown different elements of their game today.

“First half, we were really good and caused Southampton problems with really good play. We had 10 really good chances in the first half – the only downside was we only took one of them, so the game was still there for both teams.

“In the second half, Southampton were dominant really and were on top of us. But the lads have shown good resilience to win the game in the end.

“We were under the cosh for long periods and when we did have the ball we gave it away really cheaply, but overall I’m really pleased for the group that they got the win and a clean sheet.”

The result means Rovers have started the season with three wins and a draw from their first four Premier League 2 games and Barr is buoyed by the spirit and belief currently encompassing his young squad.

“We’re in a good place as a group,” added the Under-23s head coach.

“The confidence they can take from it. We spoke about it in pre-season, especially after the Carlisle game when we were so dominant and how it felt.

“I spoke to them again at half-time today about trying to replicate our first-half performance in the second half and whilst unfortunately we didn’t do that from a footballing perspective, the resilience that you need to win football matches was there on the other side, so overall I’m really, really pleased for them as a group.”


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