A disappointing first 45 minutes proved costly as the reigning Premier League champions showed their class right from the off. A brace from Willian was added to with further goals from Pedro and Olivier Giroud to give Chelsea a four-goal lead at the break.
Although David Meyler saw his second-half spot-kick saved Willy Caballero to deny Adkins’ side a consolation effort, the Tigers emerged from the game with pride intact after producing an improved display after the break.
Reflecting on the Fifth Round tie, Adkins said: “We came with a game plan and within a couple of minutes it’s out of the window.
“We gifted them the opportunities to score goals in the first half and you saw how good their players are when you’re up close and personal. We allowed them too much ball in the first half.
“I was calm at half-time. I told the players this wasn’t the situation we wanted to be in but we tweaked one or two things and improved. Yes, they took their foot off the gas, but we were much better in the second half and my players deserve credit for that.
“They were staring down the barrel at 4-0 – and it could have gone the other way. But what they did in the second half was what we were hoping to do in the first half.
“The second half was a different story, although it was game over. We kept the ball and built things. We should have scored some goals.
“But the disappointment is the first half. We stood off them too much and didn’t get close enough to them. We let some talented players demonstrate how good they are.”