Head Coach Uwe Rosler has said Fleetwood Town’s Emirates FA Cup run is something that the players and the club should be proud of after a spirited 2-0 defeat at Premier League side Leicester City on Tuesday night.
A brace from Kelechi Iheanacho, including one that became the first in English football to be given by VAR, sealed the win, despite good chances from Conor McAleny and Kyle Dempsey in the first half.
Rosler has hailed his side, and says his team’s performance was one that the players should take pride from.
“In terms of attempts on goal and opportunities, over the four halves against Leicester we’ve been the better side in three of them,” said Rosler.
“But in the last one and most decisive one, they had too much for us. I’m very, very happy with the way we played in the first half.
“We made some changes up front that were definitely working, with Conor and Jordy [Hiwula] and Ash Hunter at the moment is in a very good way.
“We kept them out and had two or three good opportunities to test their keeper.
“We invested a lot defensively but we looked very good when we were on the ball. There was slick passing, we played the ball better, but in the second half we just ran out of steam and I felt that if we had gone into the second half at 0-0 it would have given us more energy.”
“We move on though, we had a great a run for the football club, for the players it was a great experience. Our players stood up, and in at least 3 out of the 4 halves we did ourselves and our fans proud.”
Town dominated the first half, and could have led, but fell foul of a touch of class from the Premier League boys as Islam Slimani slipped in Iheanacho to open the scoring. Rosler admits the star-studded side had just too much for his team in the second period.
“They didn’t test our keeper at all and then unfortunately we didn’t look very good after their first goal.
“That can happen when you’re permanently under pressure. In the second half they had too much for us.
“They’re a Premier League team, 8th in the league, and you can see that in the second half.”
The VAR decision took over a minute to be clarified, and despite the right call eventually being made, the German would have preferred to let the game play on in a traditional manner.
“I’m a traditionalist. I think we should keep the game simple and pure and that is why the game so beautiful.
“I can understand why they are doing it – they want to help the referee but I’m a little but annoyed is that when you have VAR you are still guessing in some situations, you still aren’t 100% on what has actually happened and so you might as well let the guess anyway.
“Human errors belong to football. But I must say, it is not because of VAR that we lost the game.”
Attention now turns to Fleetwood’s Sky Bet League One match against high flying Blackburn Rovers, and Rosler knows that all focus now must be firmly on that match.
“Players should brush tonight off. To everyone over the two legs, I have said well done.
“We are now concentrating on Blackburn Rovers. We invested a lot on Blackburn and we invested a lot today, and we have to make sure we are ready.”