Gareth Roberts picks out veteran Danny Murphy as key man as Blackburn Rovers 'do' Derby County
GARETH Roberts felt former team-mate Danny Murphy played a key role in Blackburn Rovers' FA Cup victory over Derby County.
Rovers triumphed 3-0 in Saturday's fourth round tie at Pride Park Stadium on a frustrating day for the Rams.
Veteran midfielder Murphy was instrumental in the visitors' success.
Roberts, who was on the books at Liverpool at the same time as the former Spurs and Fulham man early in his career, said: "I thought Danny Murphy played a great game for them in midfield.
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"He ran things in there. He was always in the right place at the right time and was talking to his team, telling them where he wanted them to go.
"I know Danny from our time as young lads at Liverpool. He's always been a good player – wherever he's been – and has played a lot of games in the Premier League."
Roberts admitted that, on the day, Blackburn – relegated from the top flight to the Championship last season – had a bit too much for the Rams.
"We'd only lost twice at home this season going into the game," said the 34-year-old defender.
"And before kick-off, everyone was up for it and thinking we could go and get a result.
"But Blackburn are full of quality players who were playing in the Premier League last season – and they've done us.
"They've got some good players – and an £8m striker up front (Jordan Rhodes), so they are spending a few quid – but we'll take it on the chin."
There was little between the two sides until Rovers took the lead just before half-time.
Colin Kazim-Richards took advantage of some hesitant defending from Richard Keogh to land a crucial blow in the context of the match.
"It's obviously disappointing," said Roberts. "I thought we played some good football up until their first goal but the mistake cost us.
"Until then, there was nothing in the game and I don't think Adam (Legzdins) had really had anything to do up to that point."
Blackburn took control after the interval, allowing Derby few opportunities and adding to their lead through central defender Scott Dann's spectacular strike and a typically opportunistic goal from Rhodes.
"To go 1-0 up just before half-time gave them a lot more confidence," said Roberts.
"In the second half, they looked to counter attack, they passed the ball well and caused us a few problems.
"It was a good ball by Danny (Murphy) for their second goal to pick the lad out – and it was a great finish from Dann.
"But we didn't play well in the final third. We didn't get the crosses in, we didn't get the shots off and their goalie had an easy afternoon."