Billy Barr was left with mixed emotions following Rovers Under-23s’ 1-1 draw away to Tottenham Hotspur on Friday lunchtime.
Spurs opened the scoring through Kion Etete just before the break, before being reduced to 10 men when Brooklyn Lyons-Foster was sent off on the stroke of half-time.
Rovers drew level courtesy of a Sam Burns penalty on 49 minutes and despite dominating the second half, they were unable to find a further way through and win the game.
Speaking after the stalemate, Barr said: “If you’d have given us a point before the game, we probably would have taken it, but then with Tottenham getting a man sent off just on half-time, the lads have come away from it really disappointed that we haven’t won the game.
“In fairness, we didn’t really create enough chances in the second half, for all the possession we had. We still need to be better in the final third and that probably let us down on the day. We huffed and puffed without really affecting the goal that much.
“But away from home, we’ve lost only once this season, so I’ve got to give credit to the group. Tottenham are a good team. Three of their players were involved in the Europa League on Thursday night, so even though they went down to 10 men, it can be hard to play against and they did carry a threat themselves.”
With Connor McBride and Dan Pike involved with the first team squad for the last two Championship games against Watford and Coventry, Rovers travelled with a youthful squad to face Spurs, with scholar Alex Baker (pictured) handed his first start at Under-23s level.
Barr, who was pleased with the young striker’s performance, said: “Overall, I’m happy with them, because we keep changing the team and there’s younger players coming in.
“Alex Baker came in for his debut and worked tirelessly, with very little service really. I’ve known Alex since I joined the club and he’s always been a talent. He’s had a horrific time with injury, but he’s back now and he’s been scoring goals for the Under-18s and he’s got himself with us.
“Quite a few will get opportunities between now and the end of the season. It’s been really good for the group to see Dan and Connor involved with the first team. It shows that people are looking and asking questions.
“I said after our game against West Ham ‘be ready, because you never know’, and low and behold they both got the call on Tuesday to train (with the first team) and then they were involved in the games, so it’s fantastic for our group and hopefully the next ones are just around the corner.”