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Wellens: there's still work to be done

11 August 2021

Richie Wellens was pleased to see his Rovers side make it through into the second round of the Carabao Cup after a penalty shootout victory over Sky Bet League Two side Walsall.

After a 0-0 draw in 90 minutes, Watford loanee Pontus Dahlberg was the hero in the shootout for Rovers as he saved three penalties from the home side.

On the result and performance:

“It’s a good result and we’re pleased we’re in the second round, but there’s still improvements to be made.

“For the first 20 minutes we were in total control. After that we kept making bad decisions which gave them chances.

“We need to learn how to play pressure football and put the ball into threatening areas and start playing a little bit higher.

“Second-half we came out really well and the forward three responded well to what I said at half-time.

“Our pressing for the entire 90 minutes was excellent. Walsall are a good team and we limited them to a few crosses and shots. The only chances they had came from us giving the ball away in bad areas.”

On the progress his new-look team are making:

“We have a new group and a new manager. We just wanted to get that win over the line to create a feel-good atmosphere.

“I want to get cohesion and we saw signs of it tonight, but there’s still work to be done.

“We want to be playing higher with more aggression. You learn through adversity and loses. We played better than we did against Wimbledon which shows the improvements we’re making.

On goalkeeping hero Pontus Dahlberg:

“Pontus was class tonight and has shown exactly why we brought him in. Credit must go to both goalkeepers who were brilliant.

“He needs that confidence because it just helps him to settle quicker and feel a real part of the team."


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