Appleton hails Blackburn Rovers' 'magnificent' display against Millwall in FA Cup quarter final (From This Is Lancashire)
Appleton hails Blackburn Rovers' 'magnificent' display against Millwall in FA Cup quarter final
MICHAEL Appleton hailed a “magnificent” effort to keep Blackburn Rovers’ Wembley dream alive – but admits his walking wounded will need some patching up for Wednesday’s replay.
The Rovers boss was full of praise as his side battled to a goalless draw in a hostile quarter final at Millwall, with the winners of Wednesday’s replay meeting Wigan Athletic in an enticing Wembley semi final.
Already suffering with a lengthy injury list, Rovers will be without Adam Henley who limped out before the break with a recurrence of a hamstring injury.
Bradley Orr was set for an X-ray on his ribs last night, having also been forced out, while Leon Best and Josh King will be assessed after starting their first games for a while.
Appleton: “It was as though everything was going against us.
“We will have to make sure we look after the players and do nothing between now and then.
“It looks as though a lot of things are contriving against us. It is not easy at the moment but we have a group of players who are very, very determined.
“They have done ever so well in this competition so far this season. That is four games without conceding a clean sheet in the competition.
“The aim will be for another clean sheet on Wednesday and hoipefully we get the rub of the green at the right time.
“I thought everyone was magnificent today. We had to think quickly on our feet at times but we have a second chance to get to Wembley.”
Millwall put Rovers under heavy pressure at times yesterday but, aside from a distance strike from Danny Shittu, goalkeeper Jake Kean was relatively untested.
It could have been even better for the visitors had Jordan Rhodes not spurned a good chance in either half, but Appleton had few complaints about a battling draw.
He said: “It was a difficult day. I have lost two right backs and we had to chop and change. It would have been quite easy for the players to lie down and give up on the game.
“We switched off once which nearly cost us but apart from that I thought we looked solid and strong.
“Before the game obviously we didn't want a replay but there is an opportunity to play at Wembley for both football clubs and both will be delighted they still have a chance to get to Wembley and will be doing everything they can to get there.