Let's kick on, urges Blackburn Rovers boss
BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer has challenged his side to kick on when they resume their league campaign next week.
Rovers sit ninth in the Championship with four wins, three draws and four defeats from their opening 11 matches of the season.
Bowyer is satisfied with that return after taking the decision to revamp the squad over the summer.
But having achieved his initial aim of bringing some much-needed stability to the club, Bowyer believes it is time for Rovers to show the consistency required to push for a play-off place.
He said: “If you were writing a report it would read we’ve progressed and we’ve got better, which we said we would do.
“We’ve talked about patience and stability but now’s the time for us to put it all together.
“We’ve looked at certain games and certain situations where we feel we could have taken more points from.
“But it has been a time of transition and change.
“You only have to look at how open the Premiership is at the moment given the change that is taking place in quite a few of the big clubs.
“They prove that it doesn’t necessarily click all together. You’ve just got to keep working hard.”
Rovers return to action next Saturday when they welcome Charlton Athletic to Ewood Park.
Four of Rovers’ next six matches are at home – and Bowyer knows that represents an opportunity to close the gap on the top six.
He said: “We’ve shown how strong we are at home with our performances.
“We also need to start picking up points away from home and obviously the Bournemouth performance was very pleasing.
“But four home games in the next six is good chance for us to take advantage of.”
Meanwhile, Bowyer is hopeful that top-scorer Jordan Rhodes will be fit to face Charlton.
The striker pulled out of the Scotland squad for their World Cup qualifier with Croatia on Tuesday after hurting his groin.
Josh King has also picked up a minor injury of his own.
The winger has a slight thigh strain but will remain with the Norway squad for their final World Cup qualifier at home to Iceland on Tuesday.
Captain Scott Dann and long-term absentee Dickson Etuhu were back in light training yesterday while DJ Campbell took part in his first full training session since injuring his ankle in July.
David Dunn has yet to return to full training following a knee operation last month but Bowyer says the midfielder continues to ‘progress nicely’.
Goalkeeper Paul Robinson, meanwhile, has started a pre-season programme after eight months on the sidelines.
Bowyer said: “When we get everyone back it will be a great position to be in.
“We’ll have some tough, tough decisions to make but over the course of the season you need to rely on a strong squad as there will be injuries and suspensions.”
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