Rowland: We didn’t show up in first half

Manager Simon Rowland blamed his side’s slow start for their semi-final exit.

He also claimed that the loss of Ryan Mcbride was a huge blow. But while he was clearly disappointed, he was left to reflect on a tremendous run and heaped praise on his players for the commitment they showed in the second-half, which he thinks will leave them in good stead for promotion.

Simon Rowland

Simon Rowland

“We really missed him (McBride) today,” he said.

“We tried to keep our pattern of play similar but it doesn’t matter what formation we’re playing, we just didn’t turn up all over the pitch.

“At half -time we changed it, we got a reaction in the second half, and I think we carried ourselves really well.

“It shows fantastic character to do that and we’re going to need a lot of it.

“We’ve got to finish the season professionally and that character is going to help us do that.”

Rowland was quick to deflect any of the praise for the second half performance away from himself.

While his words at half-time clearly inspired his team, he added, “This competition is all about the players.”