LIVERPOOL Reserve manager Gary Ablett admitted his side were ‘particularly poor’ after losing 1-0 at home to Blackburn Rovers on Thursday.

The Reds’ youngsters slumped to their fifth defeat of the season at The Halliwell Jones Stadium thanks to a first half penalty converted by Alan Judge after a rash challenge on Aaron Doran by the Senegalese right back Emmanuel Mendy.

Just 455 fans had turned out at the home of the Warrington Wolves on a bitterly cold evening.

And they witnessed a performance that left Ablett bitterly disappointed.

He said: “It was a very poor game from our point of view.

“They didn’t do anything special, I just thought that we were particularly poor.

“I think if we had been anywhere near the level we have been at these last couple of games we would have got something out of the game.

“I think we’re all disappointed at the moment – because it is not a situation we’re used to after doing so well last year.”

The manager conceded that his side had struggled to pass the ball and had not used enough width to help break down the Rovers’ defence.

And he also cited the quality of the pitch as a factor.

Ablett said: “I thought we had more of the ball than they did second half but we made it difficult for ourselves trying to force the ball through the middle, where the pitch was at its most bobbly.

"I'm not using that as an excuse, but we didn’t play our normal passing game."

Mark Bunn was rarely threatened in Blackburn Rovers’ goal despite the return of Hungarian hotshot Krisztian Nemeth to Liverpool’s attack.

And Ablett felt Mikel San Jose’s failure to convert a golden chance in stoppage time following a free kick by Daniel Pacheco was symptomatic of his team’s evening.

He added: “I‘m not sure if the referee has blown for offside or a goal kick – it just summed up the way the night went for us.

“I can’t really recall their keeper having to make a save from open play.”