THERE was a lengthy behind-closed-doors inquest at the Cardiff City Stadium following Doncaster Rovers’ Championship defeat against the Bluebirds.
Rovers’ No 2 Richard O’Kelly later accused the team of giving the ball away needlessly and of a defence which represented a “comedy of errors.”
Reflecting on the 2-0 reverse, O’Kelly said: “Because of the way they started, Cardiff probably deserved to win it. We haven’t got the best of records of late at Cardiff and I felt that it was our best opportunity to beat them because they were vulnerable - especially in the first half.”
Having survived an early onslaught, O’Kelly felt that Rovers came back well and claimed that there was a ‘belief’ in the dressing room at half-time after coming in 0-0.
He said that was why Rovers replaced veteran centre-back Richard Naylor at the start of the second half with on-loan striker Milan Lalkovic and changed the formation.
“We thought we had the opportunity to win” he told The Star. “Milan has got a lot of pace and we decided to go with him up front.”
Rovers’ hopes of claiming their first win at Cardiff’s new stadium suffered a blow when the home side broke the deadlock on 52 minutes.
“I thought it was our throw-in just before that and I couldn’t see where the foul came from for the free-kick from which they scored with a flick header” said O’Kelly.
“Although it was disappointing to go behind you are always still in the game at 1-0. We had enough of the ball for a spell after the goal.
“We moved the ball quite well and used the width of the pitch. We created some good opportunities and were getting the ball into the box but nothing was dropping for us.
“We then gave the ball away in midfield and they broke away in the build-up to their second goal on 75 minutes.
“The goal was a comedy of errors as far as we were concerned. It was a setback because we still felt we were in the game. Even then we felt that if we could get a goal back and make it 2-1 with five or 10 minutes to go then we could lump the ball into the box and put them under pressure.”
“James Coppinger had a good effort from 25 yards and Giles Barnes had a header but we couldn’t get the goal. We went a bit gung-ho at the end and they had a couple of further chances in stoppage time.” Rovers continue to prop up the table after picking up just one point from their first six league games.