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We didn't nip things in the bud...

Filed: Saturday, 28th January 2006
By: Gordon Thrower

Blackburn Rovers boss Mark Hughes gives his analysis of his side's fourth round FA Cup exit at the Boleyn...

Mark Hughes - Blackburn Rovers

Do referees have something against Khizanishvili? Well Iíve not seen the penalty but the reaction of my players suggests that it was a harsh decision. Thatís two in a week so weíre disappointed in that. It was the perfect start from our point of view. A goal after 30 seconds and you think itís going to be your day. On reflection the early goal probably galvanised West Ham. They responded well to going behind and got back into the game very quickly. Though we had a lot of the play I thought that, defensively, we werenít at the level we usually are and in the end that cost us today.

This isnít the place to single out players individually though. We review every game but I was more concerned with our general defending. We pride ourselves on our closing down but we didnít really do that today.

Weíve had a really hard week Ė three really difficult away games. Our efforts in midweek seemed to take a bit of the edge off our game. When you play a side such as West Ham who are very accomplished, especially at home, you have to be at a level to play up to the ball to prevent them from forming attacks. They have some powerful players and our energy levels were down.

Yes it was a bit like the league game though defensively we didnít give ourselves a chance. We didnít nip things in the bud. Errors start to happen and thatís when you start conceding goals.

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