PAUL Caddis felt Rovers were at times naïve and could have managed the game better as they let a three goal lead slip against Crewe Alexandra in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Rovers were forced to play the final 40 minutes with nine men, allowing the League Two side back into the second round tie, but Caddis felt the hosts contributed to their own downfall.

Rekeem Harper was caught in possession and then conceded a penalty and was subsequently sent off as Crewe’s Chris Porter scored the visitors’ first.

The final two Alex goals came from two right-wing corners in the space of three minutes.

And Caddis said: “The disappointing thing was that it was two set plays, they didn’t break us down, they didn’t play through us.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got 11 men, nine men or even eight men, you still have to defend them better.

“What the referee and linesmen do is entirely up to them, we can’t do something about that, but what we can do is stop the ball going in our net.

“We needed to have a bit more game management about us, we were a bit naïve playing out in front of our own box when we had so much joy playing the ball down the sides and going more direct to Danny (Graham) and then you can start playing in their half.

“So I think our game management let us down.”

Rovers finished the game with three players 20 or under involved in Ryan Nyambe, Scott Wharton and Lewis Travis. And Caddis, recalled to the side for the first time in six weeks, said the trio will take a lot from the experience.

He added: “Scott at centre half, I thought he did really well and it will be something they all learn from.

“Scott is very talented, good with the ball at his feet. He got set back with a couple of injuries earlier in the season which frustrated him but I’m excited for him.

“It is the first time I have ever come up against 11 with nine so it will be a learning curve for them.

“We had a couple of half chances but showed a lot of character to stay in the game.

“We played 40 minutes with nine men, we were out of sight but ultimately we didn’t get beat and we still have a chance to get through in to the next round.

Rovers had impressed in the early stages in which they opened up a 3-0 lead and Caddis added: “I think the first 25 minutes were absolutely brilliant, we were out of sight.

“Then we were a bit sloppy, tried to play out (from the back) and got caught out and they go and the score the penalty and the game changed in an instant.

“At the start of the second half we go down to nine men and then it was hard.”