Gary McSheffrey pointed the finger at two individual errors as Rovers slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Hartlepool United.
Bobby Faulkner had cancelled out Josh Umerah’s opener for Hartlepool midway through the second half only for Wes McDonald to grab a late winner for the hosts.
McSheffrey felt a poor first half performance left Rovers with plenty to do but the circumstances of Hartlepool’s two goals were the big difference between the sides.
On the manner of the defeat:
“The first half wasn’t good enough. We got bullied. They landed on every second ball in midfield and their front two got the better of our centre backs.
“We were hoping to go in at 0-0 and change a few things tactically.
“An individual error cost us for the goal. As much as they were on top, they didn’t overly look like scoring.
“In the second half we got to grips with it. We changed a few things and made a couple of subs.
“I thought we were the team on top. We missed a couple of good chances before we got the equaliser.
“Then it’s about making sure you don’t lose. But another error has cost us, in terms of being too eager to try to intercept a pass when the ball hasn’t been played. If you keep your shape, they can’t reverse pass it like they did.
“They did the ugly things well, winning the first contact in defence, the second balls in midfield.
“I don’t think our general play was good enough. We weren’t very sassy or streetwise. They just looked on the front foot more.”
On the changes at half time:
“We wanted to change the shape and try to keep the better attacking players on to play to that shape.
“I thought the changes impacted things.
“We had to make changes to the starting XI because a couple had injuries and another couple were coming back from injuries and we just needed to managed their game time to not risk them getting injured again.
“I thought the half time changed helped and we came out for the second half better.
“I don’t think anyone could have argued if they had been taken off at half time.”
On getting caught out with the winner:
“When you’ve got momentum, you want to get three points in every game.
“How the game went, you obviously would rather take a point that lose it. But I didn’t feel that they were peppering our goal or we were under a lot of pressure.
“It was a good finish from the lad once he got in but he should never have got in in the first place.
“I thought that if there was a team that would go on to win it, it’d be us.”
On Luke Molyneux:
“He’s a good player and I think once he gets one goal, the floodgates will open for him.
“He was close to scoring and I think he could have shot more in the second half. He got into some terrific positions down his natural side.
“I thought he looked good out there and we just stick with him. When one goes in for him, he’ll be all right.”
On Bobby Faulkner:
“I thought in the first half he was getting too tight to the big lad, Josh Umerah. He’s good at that. He wants to feel contact and roll. But I just said to him ‘can you play cat and mouse a bit more?’
“He was quite clever with it. Bobby is keen to try to win everything and we love that about him but sometimes he just needs to play cat and mouse with strikers and defend off them.
“Some of his last ditch blocks were tremendous. He was blocking all sorts and stopping crosses.
“I’m delighted he got his first goal and it was a great finish. I think he’s got a good future ahead of him.”