Penalty Miss Was Crucial - Rowett

Gary Rowett

GARY ROWETT highlighted Benik Afobe’s first-half penalty miss as a major turning point in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Bristol City.

The DR Congo international was presented with a golden opportunity of firing the home side into an early lead after referee Paul Tierney had correctly pointed to the spot following a foul on Bruno Martins Indi.

However, Afobe saw his strike from 12-yards saved by goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa before goals from Famara Diedhiou and Callum O’Dowda either side of the break ensured all three points for the visitors.

Speaking to the media following the game, the City boss said: “It was incredibly frustrating once more, very similar to a lot of our other games recently.

“I thought first half we actually played quite well. We started brightly, won ourselves a penalty and should have been a goal to the good.

“Small moments changes games in big ways, and missing that penalty was one of those moments because had we have scored it then I believe we would have gone on to win comfortably."

“We were in complete control of the game early on, but of course missing it leaves everybody inside the stadium frustrated, and even more so when they then go and score with their one and only attack in the first half.

“It was a really soft goal to concede and as we know at the moment, as soon as we concede that goal then the atmosphere around the place is going to change, which it did.

“We appreciate that, but we knew the onus would then be on us to go back out in the second half and look to do something about the situation we were in.

“We huffed and puffed, Joe Allen had a great opportunity right before the break and James McClean has another in the second half but we didn’t really manage to hit the levels that we expected to.”

He said: “The second goal was a stereotypical second goal away from home when the home side are trying to get back in the game - they caught us out, we made a mistake and the punished us.”

“It is difficult, we are going through a tough period and this for me, is probably the hardest point of my career as a manager so far - but I will fight through it and we will keep giving everything we have to turn the results around.”