Rusk: Injury-time defeat was tough

Albion coach reflects on 2-1 to defeat against Blackburn Rovers under-23s

By Bruce Talbot • 23 November 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Simon Rusk issues instructions from the touchline.

Simon Rusk had some sympathy for his players after Blackburn Rovers scored a goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time to beat his under-23s 2-1 at the American Express Elite Performance Centre on Monday.

Albion led until their Premier League 2 tussle until the 78th minute thanks to Jensen Weir's goal despite playing the second half with ten men after Ed Turns was shown a straight red at the end of the first half. Connor McBride levelled with a penalty before Sam Durrant's late winner for the visitors.

Rusk said, "It is really hard to take, I feel for the players. The attitude and resilience we showed when we went down to ten men was good, and arguably we have had the best chance when Jack Spong hit the bar which would have made it 2-0.

By Paul Hazlewood
Ed Turns was shown a straight red for a challenge at the end of the first half.

"We've conceded a few goals in previous games and we're light at the moment because of injuries so it was important to make ourselves harder to break down and I thought we were. There was some good stuff, including a goal with a wonderful build-up. 

"It will be painful for the lads to concede the winner so late but sometimes you need those experiences as young players to learn and drive yourself on. When you are winning and confident anyone can step up to the plate and want the ball, but you really find out about yourself and as a group when you're having difficult results. We just have to pick ourselves up at Southampton next Monday."

Rusk said he had no complaints about Turn's straight red. "Ed will know it's a bad challenge, indefensible really. He's young and it was a rush of blood, and he will have to learn from it quickly."


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