FA Cup

Barker calls for perspective

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Sun, 06 Jan 2013 10:14:00

Aberdeen manager Craig Brown admits he is delighted with the production line of exciting talent at Pittodrie.

Brown has paid tribute to the work being done by youth development chief Neil Simpson and coach Neil Cooper.

Youngsters such as 20-year-old defender Joe Shaughnessy are becoming regulars in Brown's team along with teenagers Clark Robertson, Cammy Smith and Ryan Fraser.

The Dons boss said: "We had four youngsters playing against Dundee United last weekend - Joe Shaughnessy, Clark Robertson, Cammy Smith and Ryan Fraser - in what was a demanding fixture.

"It is good for the club and good for the lads themselves. In our previous game against St Johnstone, 10 of the 18 players on duty for us were under 21 - and that was quite exceptional.

"The young players who are coming through have been brought on by the two Neils. They are very important guys at Pittodrie.

"When you're looking for a player to come in, you look over your shoulder and they'll say: 'Here's one.'

"Joe Shaughnessy is an example of that and was outstanding while on his year-long loan at Forfar."

The striker, whose goal 12 minutes from time had put the visitors on course for the fourth round, appeared to be hauled down by Tigers defender Alex Bruce, who was the last man.

"I do think it was a penalty," Slade said. "He [Mooney] wouldn't want to go down in that position. He was hauled down so it was a penalty.

"But he took his goal well and he's very confident at the minute. It was a great cross and David finished it really well."

Nick Proschwitz earned the Championship outfit a 1-1 draw and a replay by heading home in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Slade added: "We were positive but it was the manner in which we were disciplined and organised that pleased me. They have a very strong squad and we knew it was going to be a tough afternoon for us.

"It was probably one of our best performances of the season, particularly without the ball. We created a few chances, but we didn't have loads of problems defensively and that was the most pleasing aspect.

"You have to be disappointed having conceded so late on after having played so well.

"I thought we could have done a little bit more to stop the cross, and that was probably only the second free header they had in the whole game.

"It was disappointing to concede that goal as I think we did enough to go through in the tie. But the players are professional and we need to bounce back."

League One leaders Rovers, 15 places below the Rams, initially started well but once Ben Davies capitalised on Fon Williams' mistake in the 42nd minute, there was no way back.

Former Wigan striker Conor Sammon scored a second - his seventh of the season - and John Brayford made it a trio of goals in 21 minutes.

Jeff Hendrick added a fourth before Mason Bennett struck to round off the scoring.

Moore acknowledged his keeper's error of letting Paul Coutts' tame shot squeeze under him and into Davies' path was the crucial moment in the match.

"The turning point for me was the first goal," he said. "I thought we probably edged the first half so to concede was disappointing for us.

"We were flat at half-time but, to be fair, the keeper has been fantastic for us this season.

"He's made some unbelievable saves and he feels deep down he should have saved it but I'm not going to criticise him. He'll come back and hopefully keep a clean sheet next week.

"The basic defending just after half-time was poor and really, we gifted them three goals but I think we can take a lot of positives out of the first half.

"I didn't think 5-0 was a reflection on how the game was. The last time we got beat 5-0 we won three league games on the trot ."

Eunan O'Kane fired the Cherries into a first-half lead before Marc Pugh was booked for diving inside the box when the he was convinced he should have had a penalty for Roman Golobart's challenge.

The visitors were then equally convinced Simon Francis had not fouled Maynor Figueroa for the Latics penalty from which Jordi Gomez equalised, the midfielder tapping home the rebound after Shwan Jalan had saved his initial effort.

"Marc is not the type of player who goes to ground easily," said Howe of the first incident.

"If he goes to the floor I would bank on it being a penalty.

"And their penalty was disappointing. It was one of those 50-50 decisions and unfortunately it went against us."

The hosts, who had reached the fifth round in each of the last two seasons, made the perfect start at the Broadfield Stadium with Nicky Adams' 25-yard strike.

But two goals from Adam Le Fondre, the second from the penalty spot after Noel Hunt had put the Royals ahead, secured the Premier League outfit a place in the hat.

Barker was disappointed his side's hopes of another cup adventure were dashed - and frustrated that a section of the home support were chanting at him to "sort it out".

"We are disappointed, no matter how it started, because we played well. We deserved more out of the first half," the Red Devils boss said.

"We have given a Premier League team a real good go. We created enough chances to be ahead but their goalkeeper pulled off two or three really good saves.

"To put their goalkeeper under as much pressure as we did, for a League One team against a Premier League side, speaks volumes about the players.

"I thought we would create something every time we went forward. Their quality in the final third defined the fact we were a goal down at half time. Adam Le Fondre and Hunt are good players."

On the reaction to the supporters, who were chanting at Barker as his charges tried to find a way back into the game, he said: "You can't educate some people, can you?

"I will do the best I can and one day when I've gone, a bit like my old club, people will realise how well I did. The expectations (among some supporters) are ridiculous."

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