Defender offers his thoughts following Wanderers' FA Cup exit at the hands of Liverpool at Macron Stadium
Despite Wanderers’ efforts over two games against Liverpool ensuring that they kept the Premier League outfit at bay for 176 minutes, Matt Mills says that the Whites’ eventual defeat at the hands of Brendan Rodgers’ side has ultimately left a sour taste in the team's mouths.
After taking the lead through an Eidur Gudjohnsen penalty kick, Bolton were on course to send their top flight opponents crashing out of the FA cup but two late goals from the Reds broke Wanderers’ hearts.
With Philippe Coutinho’s stoppage time winner deciding the tie, Mills ultimately took the players’ heroic efforts as scant consolation on the evening.
“There’s nobody patting us on the back, telling us how well we did and how close we came - at the end of the day, we couldn't quite see them off,” he said after the game. “We are disappointed that we haven’t won the game - it’s not really good enough for us and it doesn’t really sit well.
“It’s a disappointing dressing room - to have kept the clean sheet and got the replay and then them winning with five minutes to go, we are gutted that we’ve come away empty handed.
“It’s difficult enough playing Liverpool with eleven men and I think both sides would have wanted a fair crack with the teams even.”
He continued: “That said though, it was a titanic performance really when you think that there’s only 13 or 14 first team players fit at the club.
“Obviously some of the younger players have got some great experience tonight coming into a massive game, and the result aside I thought everybody worked as hard as possible and I certainly can’t fault that.”
With a trip to Derby next up for Wanderers at the weekend, Mills called for his teammates to bounce back at the first time of asking when they clash with Steve McLaren’s high-flying Rams on Saturday afternoon.
“There’s a lot of games coming thick and fast, so Saturday is another opportunity to go out and improve ourselves," he explained. “Derby are a good outfit, but we will go there with high spirits and seeing a couple of new players coming in to strengthen us will only help us in the long run.”