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McCann pleased with battling Rovers against Charlton

3 March 2019

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Grant McCann praised his side's grit and determination, believing Rovers showed a different side of their game in the 1-1 draw with play-off rivals Charlton Athletic.

Charlton sit one place ahead of Rovers in the Sky Bet League One table and the visitors took the lead when John Marquis' mistimed header meant he put the ball in the back of his own net. Mallik Wilks evened things up with a solo effort at the other end just four minutes later.

"I thought it was a good game between two good teams. We didn't start the best but when our backs are against the wall this team has another gear and we showed that again," said McCann

"What I saw in the second half is a team that wants to fight and wants to win, and who greet these opportunities when they come along. I was really pleased with the response: we went for it, got on the front foot, and were positive. We had to defend well too because Charlton have good players who can break quickly against you.

"We matched them for spells, they were on top, we were on top, it was almost like a boxing match. We've got such a high standards, we want to be on top for 90 minutes but when you're playing a team like Charlton that's not always possible, it means that when you are on top you have to take your chance and I think we did with the goal, it was a great finish from Mallik. We finished the game strongly. The goalkeeper made unbelievable saves from John and Aaron, and then Alfie May had a good chance and Tommy had the ball in the net."

McCann felt his side did enough to win the game and in the sixth minute of added time, it looked like Tommy Rowe had done just that with a goal right at the death when he headed home. The celebrations were cut short by an assistant referee's flag in a decision McCann felt could have gone the other way.

"I'm disappointed because five major decisions went against us in that game, five one-on-ones: the Mallik one-v-one, John's goal, John's one-v-one that he missed, Matty when he was running through, and then the goal at the end.

"The emphasis is on us to win at home, I think we did enough to win the game and we could have won if those decisions had gone our way. I was proud of my team, I was proud of their effort, intensity, pressing and the aggression they showed. We'll need that when we play AFC Wimbledon next because they are fighting for their lives."

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