Rovers coach admits Hatters were the better side

Blackburn Rovers U18s lead coach Billy Barr admitted his side were fortunate to reach the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup with a 1-0 win over Luton Town on Tuesday night.

The hosts, who were heavy favourites going into the game, sitting fourth in the Premier League’s Northern U18s division, and had knocked out Aston Villa and Leicester City in the previous rounds.

They took an early lead through Lewis Hardcastle’s 12th minute free-kick, before Luton more than matched them for the remainder of the game and were unlucky not to force extra time.

Barr told the Blackburn official website: “I think we’ve underestimated Luton and they were a very good team.

“They won their league, they’ve not lost many games this season with the way they play, and if I’m being totally honest they were the better team on the night.

“We’ve got the result but I feel for Luton as they’ve been the better team. I think they surprised the lads out there. We’d done our work, we’ve tried to get our message across to the lads but for some reason we’ve turned up and froze a little bit.

“We did okay at the start, got the goal early, but then took our foot off the gas and found it hard to get back on it. We’ve got to be better, we’ve got to learn from that.

“The lads are quiet in there, they are down, they know they’ve not done it again at Ewood which is a worry as we’ve a semi-final coming up and we’ve got to play here again.

“Paul Lambert nipped in at half-time and at the end of the game and was harsh with his words - as we all were.”