BLACKBURN Hawks quest for revenge against Nottingham in Sunday's English Premier Cup failed when they were defeated a second time by the Premier League side.

The 7-2 defeat leaves the Hawks at the bottom of the group table with just one point and also out of the running for the cup, but player-coach Bobby Haig is happy enough.

"The team's performance as a whole was much better than it has been lately and the score really doesn't reflect the game," said Haig.

"We played well as a team, and I brought in some of our under-19 players who didn't disgrace themselves at all, they were very committed and played very well.

"Young netminder Robbie Smith particularly, had another good game. Despite the fact that we lost, Nottingham had 44 shots on goal altogether and he did really well to only concede seven."

And concentrating his efforts solely on the league, Haig is feeling more optimistic than he has for weeks.

"It's encouraging when the team put in the kind of effort and play they did on Sunday, irrespective of whether you win or lose," he added.

"If we can keep up that kind of standard to the end of the season we should finish in a comfortable position.

"The players have got to start bucking up their ideas now, it's time to start thinking about next season and how we are going to improve our game for then."

On Saturday the Hawks face an important league meeting with Sheffield Scimitars at the Arena, before heading off for some Premier Cup action with Solihull 24 hours later.