Appleton : Players gutted about exit
Rovers manager Michael Appleton has got a hard job on his hands to pick the players up after a difficult night ended in failure for Rovers, who bowed out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 defeat at home to Millwall.
Rovers missed out on a chance to go to Wembley in front of a small crowd of just over 8,000 at Ewood Park. With Appleton's insistence on playing direct long ball a contributing factor in the loss.
Millwall were worthy winners and despite some of the players looking unfit and jaded, App has insisted they are gutted - none more so than David Dunn who was in tears at full time.
'You can probably imagine the atmosphere in the dressing room after the game,' Appleton told Sky Sports. 'It's the type of situation that, as a manager, you don't forget.
'To lose how we did lose, to a set-play, probably makes it even harder to take.
'We huffed and puffed, the lads gave us absolutely everything to be fair.
'I had to make a lot of changes again due to injuries, which was hard, but I can't ask any more of them.
'From an effort point of view, there's nothing more any of the players could have given me.
'From a quality point of view, yes we could have been better.'
Rovers sole focus for the last 10 games of the Championship season is to now focus on a solid end to the campaign. With a few wins needed to stave off a late relegation fight.
'We've got 10 massive games now,' App continued. 'There's an opportunity to change the whole mentality of the football club.
'For probably two or three seasons now it's been acceptable to lose and it's not too much of a bad thing, and that's the hardest thing for me to take - for some of the players it doesn't hurt as much as it should do.
'I'm not saying that they don't hurt, but it doesn't hurt as much as it should do.'
Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.