Date: 16th January 2014 at 10:51am
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Rovers bowed out of the FA Cup in last night’s 3rd round replay at Manchester City, eventually succumbing to a 5-0 reverse. But it was a performance which the scoreline didn’t merit. With Rovers impressive in spells and the scoreline only enhanced by some ridiculously clinical Citizen finishing.

Two goals apiece for Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko coupled with the inevitable return goal for Sergio Aguero saw Rovers well beaten on the night, but again the spirit and determination that was very much evident in the draw at Ewood Park two weeks ago was there in abundance with the excellent Tom Cairney leading the charge.

Despite what the morons at ITV will tell you, Rovers very much played a part in City struggling to break through for long periods and to a man Rovers kept City at bay until right on half time.

A second right at the start of the second half was the killer and the outcome was all but a foregone conclusion come the end.

But despite the heavy defeat, there was reason for pride, with manager Gary Bowyer pleased with his troops efforts.

‘We learned a hell of a lot about our boys in this fabulous arena,’ said the Rovers boss to the official website. ‘One thing they didn’t do was lay down and die, that is for sure.

‘We were probably a little bit naive with conceding right on the stroke of half-time again. We then concede a goal right after half-time but the response was great from our boys.

‘I thought the way we went about it, the way we kept trying to play and play at the right times. Pantilimon has made a couple of decent saves.

‘So I’ve nothing but pride for them. Our boys didn’t freeze, they kept going and wanting the ball.

‘We were playing against a world class team, probably the best in the world at the moment.

‘They did alright tonight, they can be proud of how they went about it.’

Rovers would be wise to use that as inspiration for the next two league games, which come against Nottingham Forest and Derby County.