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Development Squad

Barr: We deserved more

The Under-23s chief felt Rovers were the better side against Manchester City on Monday

26 January 2021

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Billy Barr felt his side were unlucky not to take all three points following an entertaining 1-1 draw against Manchester City Under-23s on Monday night.

Sam Burns scored his first of the season to deservedly put Rovers in front against the Citizens.

However, a lapse in concentration from Louie Annesley played a part in City grabbing an equaliser against the run of play midway through the second half, with Ben Knight finding the leveller for the hosts.

Ben Paton later hit the post and Tyrhys Dolan saw a couple of strikes well saved by James Trafford in the home goal, as the winner remained elusive.

The first outing of 2021 was certainly an encouraging one for Barr's boys, with the Development Squad chief left a little frustrated that his team, who ended the game a man light following Annesley's late sending off, didn't earn the win in Manchester.

“I think we’ve had more chances against a very good team," Barr admitted after the contest.

“When you give the ball away cheaply, as we did in the first half at times, you can spend a long time chasing, but I thought we were really effective when we did get it back.

“I thought we were really good. Even when we went down to ten men, we still felt we had the opportunity to nick something.

“Credit to the lads for standing firm and getting us a point in the end.

“I thought our shape was really good, the communication was there and the centre halves were stepping in really well when they needed to.

“I think Jordan [Eastham]’s only had two saves to make, and one of those came via a deflection off Louie Annesley."

Both sides had an identical record going into the contest and, thanks to the 1-1 draw, it remains exactly the same after the bout.

In fact, either City or Rovers would have topped Premier League 2 Division 1 had they won, and Barr believes the performance was a good marker or where his young team are at.

“We’re playing against a top Under-23s side that I’m sure had some future Premier League players in it," he added.

“Speaking to their coach after the game, he’s mentioned how we were one of the only teams that wanted to play against them rather than just dropping off and not playing.

“That’s a nice bit of credit for the lads as well.

“But there’s no point doing it just the once, we have to remain competitive and get another performance in next week.”

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