John Eustace outlined his pride in Blackburn Rovers' heroic performance against Newcastle United after a heartbeaking penalty defeat.

Rovers lost 4-3 on spot-kicks after a pulsating FA Cup tie at Ewood Park. Sam Szmodics produced a dramatic equaliser for his side to take the time to extra-time, cancelling out Anthony Gordon's second-half opener.

In front of their biggest home crowd of the season, Rovers produced a performance that can be a blueprint for their final 12 Championship games. Every single player made their team proud and they were applauded off the pitch by the home fans.

Reflecting on a monumental effort, Eustace reiterated how pleased he was with the application and execution of his players.

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"I am just very proud of the efforts," Eustace said.

"When it goes down to penalties it's a bit of a lottery. I am very proud of the group of players that we used tonight.

"I am proud of the supporters, they were awesome tonight. A full house at Ewood Park.

"Since we've come in, I couldn't have asked for any more effort, togetherness and desire for these five games that we've had. You can see that everyone is fighting, looking after each other and the style of play is improving game by game.

"The level of commitment to keep the ball out of the net was clear for everyone to see. It's going to take time, we haven't had much on the training ground but in the short amount we've had, you can see they are taking the coaching on board.

"From the substitutes that came on, the goalkeeper, the defenders, the attackers, they worked so hard to keep the ball out of the goal and that has to be a collective.

"It's not about individuals, it's something we have worked on very hard since we came in, to limit the goals and the chances that the opposition have. 

"I think you can see everyone is trying their hardest."

This was by far Rovers' most complete performance under Eustace in his short spell in charge. It will give fans something to cling to, after showing a lot of quality on and off the ball.

"We are making small steps forward, we played a top Premier League team," he said.

"I was very pleased with the game plan. You could see that we could hurt them in certain areas and we could've had a couple more goals.

"There were some good spells tonight, as there were on Saturday and against Cardiff too. Today, it all came together and we played some very good stuff against difficult opposition.

"It would be nice to be a little more clinical, of course. I can't fault the effort of the group and I am proud of everyone out there."