Tomasson's verdict on penalty woe & possession after Cardiff defeat

Rovers head coach Jon Dahl Tomasson
Rovers head coach Jon Dahl Tomasson

Jon Dahl Tomasson was disappointed with Rovers’ ball retention – but was also frustrated by the referee’s quick whistle – in the defeat at Cardiff City.

Rovers fell to a sixth defeat of the season as they were beaten 1-0 at the Cardiff City Stadium due to a late Mark Harris goal.

They missed the chance to snatch a point in injury time when George Hirst had a penalty saved by Ryan Allsop.

Tomasson felt the referee could have played an advantage, with Bradley Dack turning the ball into the net within seconds of referee John Brooks blowing his whistle for the foul on Dom Hyam.

“We have taken many good steps in the right direction, but the first half wasn’t one of them.

“The second half was more even, could have gone either way.

“We defended our box pretty well in the whole game and when you’re not playing your best, which we weren’t, then you need to take a point.

“We had the penalty, credit to George for taking it, you can miss a penalty, the referee should maybe have waited regarding blowing the whistle so I’m disappointed and frustrated in that way.

“We’ve been here before, winning and losing, like a lot of teams in the league so now we have a good opportunity and we’ve liked to see a reaction at home on Saturday.”

On the decision not to allow play to continue for Rovers to use the advantage, Tomasson added: “I think he should have waited longer, but we could have done better in the game.

“I think it was an equal game in the second half. Cardiff were better in the first half, credit to them, but we created moments in the second half and when you’re not playing your best you need to take a point.”

Hirst, a second half substitute, took on the penalty duties, only to be denied from 12 yards.

Tomasson gave his backing to the striker, adding: “Credit to George, I’ve missed penalties myself and he’s not happy with it.

“We’re disappointed that we didn’t get that draw because it’s the biggest chance in football more or less.”

Rovers continued to play out from the back, even though it was almost their downfall on a number of occasions.

Yet Tomasson says his players must make better choices on the ball, and believes that a greater focus on possession is what the club needs to help take it forward.

He said: “We made unnecessary, stupid choices, on the ball and with our movements.

“We are a club that doesn’t have the same budget as the rest so we need to create value and players who play football with the ball.

“We want a special DNA as Rovers to be a sustainable club at a higher level.

“We’ve started this journey, we’re improving slowly, we’ll keep on making mistakes, be inconsistent, but over time we will get better.

“I think you saw that in the first half, there are things we need to improve, and it’s about being quick, explosive and making the right choices.

“Of course it’s a frustrating night for the boys, I’m disappointed, the boys are disappointing and I’m disappointed for our fans that made the long journey.”