10-man Rovers earned their first draw of the 2022-23 Sky Bet Championship season on Saturday, following a 1-1 stalemate with Bristol City, after Daniel Ayala saw red. Jon Dahl Tomasson reflected on his side’s first draw of the campaign with RoversTV.
“I think today’s point was a good one under the circumstances, we showed great spirit towards the end of the game, and I must give a big compliment to the lads who continued to fight until the end, whilst playing with 10 men. Getting at least a point away at Bristol City is okay, especially given their good recent form and the fact we had a red card. Of course, we’re disappointed to concede an unnecessary goal after controlling the game and scoring first to lead, but individual mistakes happen. I’m very pleased with how we played, in the end. It was a solid performance against a good side.
“In my opinion, the second yellow card given to Daniel (Ayala) was very harsh. I think the referee made a mistake, but I did not see the first yellow card. Daniel made a good tackle for the second card, and their attacker just fell. On the other hand, the way we fought, dug in towards the end, was good, even though we didn’t create any chances. That is okay, so long as you can come away from the game with a draw in these circumstances, as it gives you something to build on.
“This season, we’ve been good at controlling the game after scoring first and I thought it was the same today. We had the game where we wanted it at 1-0. We’re, of course, disappointed to concede the equaliser after having control of the game, but we knew the attacking quality and class that Bristol City had, who have been in good form recently. To not lose despite playing with 10 versus 11 for so long, is pleasing.
“Our goal was excellent. We overloaded the right-hand side and played combination football. Tyler Morton made a good run into the box and played an excellent cutback for Bradley (Dack) to finish, after he found a great position inside the box. We want Bradley to be contributing in this way. I said it from the beginning, that he’s not hitting 100% yet, but he’s starting to play 90 minutes more often, which is very pleasing because he’s had an extremely long journey.
“We all know how difficult his recoveries have been, so it’s great to not only see him playing, but also remaining available for selection. He’s built his fitness up gradually, which is a positive. We can only hope that Bradley will become better. Of course, after such terrible injuries, you never know if a player will get back to their best, but Bradley’s fighting and doing his best for himself and the team, which is a great compliment to him.
“Their equaliser was very unnecessary. Unfortunately, those small individual errors happen in football. They hurt, but we need to get them out of our game, because if you look over the game generally, it was a very positive performance and a very solid away performance where we controlled the game. It’s a good point to keep increasing our points on the table. Draws always offer you two feelings, it was good to see how we controlled the game, but we’re frustrated with how we conceded and it’s a moment where we required higher concentration.”