Cairney: Rovers need to find way through at Ewood
ON-loan star Tom Cairney insists Blackburn Rovers must find ways to open up sides who come to Ewood Park to defend in numbers if they are to stand any chance of pushing for the play-offs.
Saturday’s disappointing 1-0 defeat to lowly Charlton Athletic was the second time Rovers have failed to score at home in the last three matches.
Like in last month’s 0-0 draw with Huddersfield Town they failed to find a way through opponents who put 10 men behind the ball.
Cairney believes it a sign of respect that teams are willing to park the bus against Rovers.
But he knows it is something they need to counteract.
Cairney said: “They came here and shut up shop, even before they scored. It shows a lot of respect, which is credit to us in a way.
“Teams are going to watch us, see what we’re like going forward, and start making it hard for us to break them down here at Ewood. It’s frustrating.
“I think a feel-good factor is definitely back at Blackburn Rovers. We’ve got a young and hungry side and it’s great to be part of it.
“But when you’re taking on teams down at the bottom, like Charlton, we do have to find ways of breaking them down.
“We’ve been devastating at home – against Barnsley, Bolton and at times against Watford – but it was just one of those days when they hadn’t won away from home and we hadn’t been beaten at home for a while.
“It’s not a nice feeling.”
The loss ended Rovers’ four-match unbeaten home run and left them seven points behind the play-off places in 10th.
Their preparations for the match – their first in two weeks – was disrupted by injuries to Scott Dann, Jordan Rhodes, Josh King and Corry Evans.
But only Evans missed out and Cairney said: “Maybe the international break came at the wrong time as we were flying and we picked up a few injuries and had a suspension.
“But that’s going to happen through the season.
“We’ve got a strong squad and we’ve got to bounce back next week.”
Rovers return to action at high-flying Blackpool next weekend.
Paul Ince’s side moved up to fifth on Saturday with a lunchtime victory over Wigan Athletic.
“We watched their game in the dressing room before our game and they battered Wigan to be fair,” said midfielder Cairney, whose loan from Hull City runs out in January.
“They are good at home but we’ve got to go there, still believe in what we’re trying to do and try and get something from the game.
“We can’t let this setback affect our confidence and we’ve got to go and attack Blackpool.”
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