Date:Sunday April 15 2007
Mark Hughes feels Blackburn Rovers were hard done by following a 2-1 extra time defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup Semi Final.
As Rovers produced a performance of the highest order in the second half of the Old Trafford Semi Final, we seriously threatened to overturn a first half deficit to book a place with Hughes' former side Manchester United in the Final. However, it wasn't to be as Michael Ballack's extra time winner broke Rovers hearts and sent Chelsea through to give the FA their dream Final of Chelsea vs. Manchester United.
Sparky was delighted with the performance but was devastated at missing out on the first Final played at the newly refurbished Wembley against his former side Manchester United, a side he will SURELY go on to manage (not too soon though!), today was just another showing as to why it will be hard to keep hold of him if and when the job comes up.
Sparky told Sky Sports:
"Sometimes in football you don't get what you deserve and I felt we deserved to go through.
"I thought in the second half we were absolutely outstanding and were the one team that really was positive in the game, really looked to try and affect it in a positive way and try to get people forward.
"It's just a shame for everybody involved. We give it everything in the dressing room I've just left and we're all very disappointed.
"We'll learn from it, we will come back from this because I saw the qualities I knew we had in that dressing room, and I've seen it time and time again.
"Once again we've proved we're an exceptional side and with a bit of luck we would be going to the final. It was not to be. We're disappointed, but we move on."
In the first half Chelsea looked in almost complete control but a message Sparky delivered to the players shortly before the break, coupled with a half time team talk saw us come out and play like we know we can. The main message he installed into the players during his half time team talk, belief.
"I just think we showed real belief today - that was the key right through the week, we were emphasising the point that we needed to believe we can beat Chelsea.
"In the second half I thought we made them look extremely ordinary and their keeper was outstanding.
"We pushed an exceptional team that will quite possibly win the Champions League, we pushed them all the way.
"We can take pride from that, but we are disappointed as well."
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Date:Sunday April 15 2007
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