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Blackburn boss Hughes admits defensive concerns

Blackburn pulled a two goal deficit back against Arsenal in the quarter finals of the Carling Cup but still went out 3-2 after extra time to the ten man Gunners.

On Saturday Rovers recovered from three goals down thanks to a hat trick from Roque Santa Cruz and tonight it was the Paraguayan's goals which got Blackburn back into a game against an impressive Arsenal second string.

The Gunners looked comfortable at 2-0 with goals from Abou Diaby and Eduardo by the half hour but the home side, who up to that point had been hopelessly outplayed, gained a lifeline just before the break.

When Blackburn equalised just after the break Arsenal suddenly looked vulnerable as Mark Hughes's outfit began to dominate the visitors and shake off their lethargic first half performance.

When Denilson was sent off for a second bookable offence on the stroke of full time Arsenal had to dig deep to progress through to the semi-finals of the competition through Eduardo's second strike in the first period of extra time.

In the final minute of an absorbing game Christopher Samba headed against the post for Rovers but it was not enough to take the encounter into a penalty shoot out.

"We are disappointed again with the way we defended for all their goals. At the moment we find it very difficult to build a platform to win games," said Hughes.

"We are though showing great courage and determination to get back on level terms but the effort expended to do that means we tend to switch off again and concede.

"It's a frustration at the moment as we are working very hard every day to eliminate this.

"I don't think a lot of teams would have come back against Arsenal like we did but in the end they were a bit too far for us.

"At the moment it's more frustrating than worrying our form as I know we are capable of playing better than this."

Hughes also played tribute to the Arsenal side saying it was wrong to call them a reserve side, "They are a quality side in their own right."

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Tribal Football Staff

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