Date: 8th February 2012 at 4:06pm
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Stoke City striker Karim Rossi believes the youth cup result against Blackburn Rovers would’ve been totally different if Jordan Richardson had not been sent off.

The Potters under 18s went into the match last night with high hopes, but were dealt a blow inside the opening 5 minutes, as a Richardson challenge ended in a straight red.

Stoke’s cup dreams were shattered by 3 first half goals and Blackburn ran out 4-0 winners.

Rossi admits the decision to dismiss Richardson left Stoke with a huge uphill task.

The Swiss youth striker said: “The ref just killed the game.

“Without the red card it would have been a totally different game.

“I felt that in the changing room before the game, that everybody was ready for it.

“I feel absolutely gutted, it was a bad challenge from Rico (Richardson), but in a youth game and after 5 minutes, a red card was harsh.”

Rossi was left frustrated up front, but he was encouraged by his teammates’ character, as a shell-shocked Stoke side stood firm and limited the hosts to just one goal in the second half.

The 17-year-old said: “It was a tough game for me up front on my own.

“But even being 3-0 down at half time, we didn`t give up, we stayed solid.

“I`ve seen teams losing 3-0 at half time lose 8-0 after 90 minutes, I think it showed our mentality, and that pleased me.

“We are a good team with a great group of lads who works for each other.”

Blackburn’s highly-rated forward Hugo Fernandez bagged two goals in the match, and Rossi thinks the Spaniard will have a big future in the game.

“Hugo Fernandez is a talented player, we knew it and he showed it again today,” he said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see him playing for the first team in a couple of years.’

Rossi is hoping Stoke will get back to winning ways against West Brom at the weekend, and the striker believes the experience at Blackburn will stand them in good stead for the future.

He said: “We`ll be ready, I’m sure we are going to bounce back.

“I think we can learn a lot from tonight and keep going for the rest of the season.”