As a third game in a week ultimately took its toll on Rovers’ depleted squad as they lost 3-1 to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, goalscorer Sammie Szmodics took on media duties, following the unavailability of Jon Dahl Tomasson, after the gaffer’s red card, as the league’s top marksman offered his thoughts on a disappointing afternoon in Yorkshire.
“We’re disappointed. I thought we played well at times and created a lot of chances throughout the game. We’ve conceded a sloppy goal inside the first five minutes, which we should do better on and then from that point onwards, we’re always chasing the game at a very tough place to come. We got back into it in the second-half with a goal and then they score two. It wasn’t our day today. I haven’t seen their second goal back, but I can see it on the pitch; there’s four officials who haven’t (seen the foul). The referee has said he hasn’t seen anything, so you can’t really argue. Nowadays you can’t really go and speak to them because you get booked, you need to be careful.
“I’m on four yellow cards, I can’t afford to get a fifth and a suspension. It’s hard because you see your teammate getting fouled and as captain, you want to back him. The referee has said he hasn’t seen anything, but that’s football. Even when they scored the second, we looked like the team most likely to get the next goal and then they go and grab a third, which I thought was quite questionable as it might have been a handball, but that’s football. Decisions have gone our way in the past, but they’ve gone Sheffield Wednesday’s way today, so we’re left disappointed with the loss.
“Hillsborough is a tough, loud place to come. Their form and the way they play probably doesn’t reflect where they are in the league, the gaffer said it beforehand. It’s not a nice place to come, they’re a good team with good individual players who were well-drilled and know what they’re doing, and they knew how to stop us. Sometimes, decisions don’t go your way. They’ve been let off with a lot of fouls and their crowd are loud with their screaming and booing which probably helps out the officials at times. However, we’ve had it at times, at Ewood, where decisions have gone our way. We can’t really complain, we just have to rest and recover properly in order to be ready for Leeds United next Saturday.
“That antagonism from the crowd gets me riled up. I was getting a bit of boos and hate from their fans, I’m not really sure why. They said I was diving, which confused me, but they’re a good physical team, we’re a small sharp team who pop balls round corners, so we’re more liable to being fouled. They’re a loud bunch, but are also a good following, but it was enjoyable to score thinking you’re going to get back into the game and then unfortunately, things happen in games and then you lose the game through no fault of your own.
“It felt like we got all the momentum after that and we were the team that looked most likely to go on and win the game. Even at 1-0 down, we looked like the team who were going to grab the next goal and get back into it. We’ve piled men forwards at the end and we’ve gone down to a ricochet, maybe even a handball. We’re going for the draw and the lad’s (Josh Windass) ran through and composed himself and scored a good goal. There are no complaints on our end, these things happen in football, even though we can’t control these decisions, we just have to get on with it.
“We are heading in the right direction. We can’t get too down on today’s result. We felt like we deserved at least a point, but it wasn’t to be today. I thought our fans were amazing, they stayed really loud until the end and kept us going as we attacked towards their end in the second-half, which was brilliant for us. We can’t let today’s game affect us, because it’s a tough place to come and they’ll start picking up points. We’ve just got to recover and reflect on today and prepare for Leeds at Ewood, which is a massive game that everyone’s looking forward to. We’ll go into that with high confidence and the good goal threats that we create. The fans will be behind us, no doubt and hopefully we get the result we deserve.
“Today’s game needs to be forgotten about as quickly as we got here. We’ve played some great football at times, we’ve also played some bad stuff at times, as did Wednesday. It was a proper end-to-end game, but I did feel like we were the better team. We didn’t come away with the win today, but it gives us that motivation heading into next Saturday. I can’t imagine many of us in the squad have played against Leeds, so to play them at Ewood is going to be a great game in a great atmosphere and we know exactly what to expect from them.
“The goalscoring run is mad. I feel really confident. I snatched at one chance in the first-half and I’m disappointed that I didn’t make more of it. Even all the boys are saying at half-time; “you’re going to score one!” Even if I miss a chance, I always feel like I’m going to get another one and I got one in the second-half. I haven’t scored many headers, but I thought it was a good finish and I was happy to get another goal, but ultimately, we lost the game, which is the most important thing.”