Belfast Telegraph

Grant McCann proud of Doncaster effort despite FA Cup exit

Doncaster Rovers 0 Crystal Palace 2

Player praise: Doncaster chief Grant McCann
Player praise: Doncaster chief Grant McCann

By Paul Burrows

Doncaster Rovers boss Grant McCann felt his team could take plenty of confidence from their performance despite yesterday's FA Cup elimination at the hands of Crystal Palace.

The Premier League side bookended the first half with goals from Jeffrey Schlupp and Max Meyer as they secured a 2-0 away win in the fifth round tie, but former Northern Ireland international McCann said: "On that showing, I was pleased with my group and the boys can go home, hold their heads high and look forward to the next game in the league at Scunthorpe.

"We played the way we've always played this season.

"I said in the week when we get opportunities we need to take them. It just didn't fall for us.

"I thought there was some really good individual performances. I felt as if the way we passed the ball was really crisp, our movement was good but we just needed to take one of the chances."

McCann felt Palace's second goal in first half stoppage time was a major blow to his side's hopes but praised their response in the second half.

"The goal just before half-time took a bit of wind out of the boys' sails," he said.

"We tried to galvanise them a bit at half-time and I thought we were better in the second half.

"We moved the ball better, we shot more, we crossed more and we took a bit more authority in those situations."

Opposite number Roy Hodgson reflected: "We had prepared for a tough game. We knew Doncaster Rovers were a good football team and we had seen enough from our research to know that. Luckily I was able to really imprint that in the minds of our players and there was never going to be any complacency on our part.

"In fact, Doncaster were every bit as good as I thought they might be, perhaps even slightly better."

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