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The Reaction: Blues 2 Blackburn Rovers 4

Posted: Mon 21 Apr 2014

The Reaction: Blues 2 Blackburn Rovers 4

Image by: Press Association

Lee Clark reacts to today's disappointing defeat to Rovers.

Lee Clark’s thoughts on this afternoon’s game...

"I thought we started quite brightly in the first six or seven minutes but we allowed Blackburn to gain a bit of momentum. We didn’t heed the warning sign when Gestede put the good chance over the bar and we got really punished; it wasn’t good to watch in the first-half. I thought I’d send a team out that’s got good balance, with five left-footers and five right-footers, and young players with pace and energy. We just couldn’t deal with set-plays and crosses. At half-time I asked the players to give us everything they had in the second-half to win that half of football. 

Clark on his selection for the starting XI...

"There was no one playing out of position. Paul Caddis was the outstanding player in midfield for us on Saturday. Will Packwood was terrific for 12-15 games last season at right-back. Tom Thorpe and Tyler Blackett have actually formed a central defensive partnership for Manchester United’s development team on many, many occasions. I was advised by my medical team that it would have been a risk to start Mitchell Hancox again after four days’ training. He actually started on Saturday earlier than we thought and to start him again today would have been potential for a muscle injury. Jonathan Spector picked up an ankle injury on Saturday. He was prepared to give it a go and I appreciate Jonathan’s attitude but he’s got quite a swollen ankle and sometimes I have to take it out of the player’s hands. He’ll be ok for Saturday. We all know what Mitchell’s about but he’s had four or five nasty injuries this season. I want to get all the players that are totally committed – and no one’s more committed than Mitchell – but when there’s potential for further damage I can’t do it. I’m not prepared to put my players’ careers at risk. There was 46 hours between us finishing at Nottingham Forest (and today’s game). What happens if he tears a hamstring or a groin, which is a great chance (of happening) if he’d started? Mitchell knew that and I spoke to him at length yesterday. But I wanted him in and around us. I was hopeful that I wouldn’t have to use him but when you’re 4-0 down and fans want to see a bit of fighting spirit, you put them on. Young Demarai (Gray, scorer of Blues’ second goal) is the same – local boys that want to do well for their club."

Clark on the premature exit of Emyr Huws which left Blues finishing the game with ten men...

"He’s got a nasty gash which was so deep that they couldn’t stitch it up to get him back on the pitch. We don’t know yet whether he’ll be available for Saturday." 

Clark on the club’s current position in the table, lying just one place above the relegation zone...

"It’s still in our own hands but we certainly need to perform to a higher level than we did in the first-half in terms of doing the basics better. We’ve got to get rid of the negative thoughts and go again; it shouldn’t be like that at home. I’m confident in my players. We’ve got to have the mentality that we’ve had in so many of the second-halves during this wretched run, but we’ve got to have that from the first whistle all the way through."