Blackburn Rovers 1 Aston Villa 1: Tony Mowbray reaction

Tony Mowbray was unhappy with the award of the free-kick which led to Aston Villa’s equaliser which denied Rovers three points at Ewood Park.

But Mowbray also questioned his wall as Rovers conceded a direct free-kick for the second successive game as Conor Hourihane struck an injury-time equaliser.

That cancelled out Bradley Dack’s 76th minute goal which had given Rovers the lead on his return to the team, and his 50th appearance for the club. 

“I feel for the team, they are very disappointed,” Mowbray said.

“There was a lot of discussion about the wall, the placing of it, we need to get on the training ground and work at it.

“That’s two games in a row now where a direct free-kick has cost us a game in my opinion.

“If we’d have gone in at half-time against Bristol City 1-0 up I don’t think it would have been a 4-1 scoreline.

“And today it has cost us two points.

“They are an amazing team, the effort, the fight, desire, the spirit, it’s all there as it had to be against a technically very good side.

“The disappointment is huge but we will put the point in the bag and move on.”

Dack was denied what look to be a legitimate goal in the first half as he was flagged offside when heading in a Charlie Mulgrew delivery.

Replays suggested Aston Villa defender Alan Hutton had played him on.

The game was fiercely competitive throughout and Mowbray added: “I felt it went a bit more end to end than I would’ve liked.

“We were playing against a very expensively put together team but I felt we threatened our goal as much as they threatened ours and the better opportunities were ours.

“I have seen the goal first half and it looks onside. (Alan) Hutton looks behind Bradley and to be playing him on.

“In the linesman’s defence he probably couldn’t see Hutton because Bradley is in line with him, yet it looked a pretty good goal to me.

“We asked questions of them and conceded a great free-kick, although we didn’t quite get the wall lined up.

“It was a brilliant strike from Hourihane who we know has that in his locker. A big disappointment but we put the point in the bag and move on.”

Referee Stephen Martin was in the thick of the action throughout, awarding a free-kick against Harrison Reed which led to the equaliser.

Rovers finished the game with a back five in a bid to see it out, something Mowbray felt they would do comfortably

He said: “I felt as though when they brought on Kodjia and had two 6’4” centre forwards in there the thing to do was to bring another centre half on and deal with the balls that were going to come in to our box.

“And I thought we were dealing with the balls that were coming in to our box but I felt we were seeing the game out.

“I would have liked a bit higher pressure on the ball from the front three but I felt pretty relaxed that we were going to see the game out.

“I didn’t feel as if it was a free-kick, I think the boy has bought the free-kick. They were both shoulder to shoulder and he’s thrown his legs to the floor and got a free-kick when I thought the referee had to be a bit stronger.

“We should proud of the fighting spirit of the team that was there, disappointed for the fans that we couldn’t get over the line but if that is the standard of the team this year then we’ll be fine.”

Source : LancashireTelegraph

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