LONDON – Bolton Wanderersâ€™ match-winner, Zach Clough, was described as special by his manager, Neil Lennon, after the teenage debutant excelled in the 1-0 win over the 2013 Cup winners Wigan Athletic.
Cloughâ€™s dinked finish 14 minutes from time rounded off a fine performance. â€œWhen youâ€™re that small you have to be special and I think he is special,â€ Lennon said of Clough. â€œWe threw the gauntlet down to the players, can we play without â€˜Chungyâ€™ [Lee Chung-yong, who will be absent throughout January at the Asian Cup]? â€¦ And the answer was there.â€
The Wigan manager, Malky Mackay, accentuated the positives. â€œI thought it was two teams going at it hard and I thought it was a pretty even game in all,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™m disappointed for my players because to come out after half-time and play the way we did showed great character.â€
Eddie Howe praised the depth of his squad as his much-changed Bournemouth side ran out 5-1 winners at Rotherham United with a dominant second-half display.
â€œIt underlined the strength in our squad,â€ Howe said. â€œIt was a slightly scrappy first half where we werenâ€™t at our best early in the game but the lads turned on the style in the second half. It was a really enjoyable game to watch and we were clinical in front of goal. Weâ€™re very pleased. Once we scored our first goal it gave us the confidence to go on and, in the second half, we played with real freedom.â€
The Rotherham assistant manager Paul Raynor was furious and said new signings would be brought in this month. â€œSome of the defending was absolutely awful and [the goalkeeper] Adam Collin got no protection. You have to take defeats from time to time but the manner of the performance was not something weâ€™re used to seeing. It was a particularly bad day at the office.â€
The Blackburn Rovers manager, Gary Bowyer, said the manner of his sideâ€™s 2-1 victory at Charlton Athletic bodes well for the rest of their season. With an injury- and illness-hit squad, Bowyer had to make sweeping changes to the team that beat Charlton in the Championship a fortnight ago, and two goals from Chris Taylor secured the win at The Valley in a match that suffered a 12-minute delay in the first half when the floodlights failed.
Bowyer said: â€œIt was a great squad performance. Weâ€™ve got seven missing through injury, illness and suspension and it just shows you the value of having a tight-knit squad.â€
Charltonâ€™s manager, Bob Peeters, admitted afterwards that he wants to sign the striker Tony Watt from Standard LiÃ¨ge. â€œWe had only 13 players available and our bench was an under-21 bench,â€ he said.
Ian Holloway admitted Millwall need to move in the transfer window after being made to dig deep to draw 3-3 against Bradford City and secure a third-round replay. The League One Bantams twice went ahead through Billy Knott and benefited from a Sid Nelson own goal but Millwall recovered thanks to Ricardo Fullerâ€™s two goals.
â€œItâ€™s just the way things are going, it really is. I thought we showed terrific character to come back, the sort we havenâ€™t had for the last couple of games. But the window is open, so letâ€™s get cracking. Iâ€™m going to have to swap and wheel and deal. We will probably have a completely different set of players at the end of January because I cannot let it slide like this.â€
The Bradford manager, Phil Parkinson, said: â€œScoring three goals away from home, we fully expect to win the game, but they have quality. It showed in the final third.â€
Ten-man Middlesbrough eased into the fourth round at the expense of Barnsley in a game delayed by 10 minutes due to a gas leak. Jelle Vossen and Daniel Ayala scored in the 2-0 win, while Adam Clayton was sent off for two bookable offences.
Nick Blackmanâ€™s goal gave Reading a 1-0 win at Huddersfield Town in a scrappy affair. The Huddersfield manager, Chris Powell, called it â€œa flat game with no real quality â€“ itâ€™s a shame because we took it seriously and didnâ€™t make wholesale changes.â€
Matt Smithâ€™s equaliser sent the Doncaster Rovers v Bristol City tie to a replay â€“ Luke McCullough scoring the home sideâ€™s goal in a 1-1 draw.
League Two Cambridge United made it into the fourth round for the first time in 15 years with a 2-1 win over Luton Town, with goals from Robbie Simpson and Ryan Donaldson. The Luton manager, John Still, said: â€œI thought we played terrific â€“ but illness has gone right through the club.â€ – The Guardian