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McCann heartened by Rovers performance in Bradford defeat

31 January 2024


McCann heartened by Rovers performance in Bradford defeat

31 January 2024

Rovers manager Grant McCann was pleased to see his players delivering on what was asked of them despite exiting the Bristol Street Motors Trophy at Bradford City.

McCann was bitterly disappointed with the manner of the performance against Stockport County four days earlier.

Although disappointed by the result in the quarter-final clash at the University of Bradford Stadium, McCann was heartened by the fighting spirit and organisation demonstrated by Rovers.

“We’ve lost the game but I thought the response from the group from Saturday was excellent,” he said.

“We don’t like losing but if there’s a way to lose, that’s the way to lose - by fighting, giving it everything and having a go, which were traits that we didn’t see on Saturday.

“We lost the game to a piece of quality from Harry Chapman.

“There were elements of the game that I thought was good, in terms of how we stuck to the plan, how we were aggressive in terms of our defending. We looked stronger in terms of set plays and organised, which is the benchmark for any team - getting the basics right because it gives you a platform to go and do things at the other end.

“We had some opportunities. We should have had a penalty in the first half on Richard Wood, which the referee somehow doesn’t see and I feel that was the tone of the night. My players weren’t really protected.

“I had three players on crutches in the changing room and it’s just really disappointing.”

McCann was unhappy with decisions made by the officials in three key moments which saw a trio of Rovers players carried off the pitch with injuries.

Luke Molyneux, Ben Close and Conor Carty will all be assessed after suffering injuries in the defeat.

“Jonathan Tomkinson clearly stamped on Luke Molyneux and he’s got a really swollen and cut ankle that we’ll have to see how it is,” McCann said.

“Conor Carty, whether the player has meant it or not he’s clearly thrown him into the advertising boards and he’s twisted his knee.

“The third one is when Ben Close clearly wins the ball and he gives a free kick to Bradford. Ben won the ball, their player came through him and he’s just landed awkwardly on his knee.”

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