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Stancliffe: Lessons to be learnt

31 October 2018

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Paul Stancliffe felt there were lessons to be learnt from Rovers’ U18s FA Youth Cup defeat to Rochdale.

The Dale ran out three-nil winners at the Keepmoat Stadium after goals from Adejuwon Hamzat, Florent Hoti and Harrison Hopper, and Stancliffe says the eventual scoreline was a harsh one in the end.

He said: “Everyone is disappointed, on reflection of the game I though three-nil was probably a bit unfair, but we knew they were a good team coming into this and we knew what to expect but unfortunately from our point of view we didn’t put the plan into place.

“There were some great crosses which came in from Branden Horton, but we just weren’t ruthless in the box.

“It wasn’t like us, but we were carrying too many players and we’re half a team down – that’s taking absolutely nothing away from Rochdale because they deserve to go through – it was always going to be difficult.”

The U18s boss drew positives from the game, stating captain AJ Greaves and Rovers’ back-line put in a brilliant performance in front of the Rovers supporters.

He added: “AJ was absolutely brilliant, Branden obviously, the back four and the keeper – I didn’t have a problem with them. AJ I thought was easily our best player, we expect better from the rest, but they have given us better all season.

“They usual do better than that, and for whatever reason I don’t know whether they froze or not, I think with one or two of them the nerves did get the better of them.

“They are in charge of their own destiny, if they want to go out and run, work and tackle then they can do that but some of them didn’t do that tonight, It’s nothing to do with tactics or anything like that, it is down to the individual.”

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