Blackburn Rovers Blog: Fans are already in the top five
THE top five of the Championship – it’s where Blackburn Rovers are striving to be.
But it’s where their supporters already are.
A post on Twitter over the weekend showed that only four clubs in the division – Leeds, Nottingham Forest, Leicester and Sheffield Wednesday – have better away followings this season than the travelling blue and white army.
The figures are impressive – 2,500 at Burnley, 3,600 at Wigan and a further 2,200 at Blackpool on Sunday.
If you want to be cynical about it you could argue that those particular games were always going to draw big away support as they were against north west rivals.
But then you also have to consider than Rovers had close to 1,000 fans roaring them on at Bournemouth and, before that, 1,500 on a Friday night in Doncaster.
And while Leeds, Forest, Leicester and Wednesday are also in the top six for home attendances, Rovers are down in 17th with an average of 14,152 from the six matches they have played in front of their own supporters.
Relegation from the Premier League was always going to have a negative impact on crowds at Ewood Park.
But most heartbreakingly of all there are fans who are choosing to stay away, disillusioned or even browbeaten at the way their beloved club has been run.
Credit then to manager Gary Bowyer and his players for injecting some much-needed pride and positivity back into Rovers.
There remains a question mark over whether they are good enough for promotion but, from the evidence that we have seen so far this season, they will certainly being doing their damnedest to launch a push.
Credit also to the club itself for freezing season ticket prices and, for this Saturday’s visit of Middlesbrough, slashing admission prices across the board that means kids get in for a quid, concessions for £6 and adults for £12.
It is a fantastic initiative and one which hopefully will result in a bigger crowd and an even better atmosphere.
But a word of warning.
If two of the last three games at Ewood are anything to go by, supporters are going to have be patient.
Both Huddersfield and Charlton came away with positive results after putting men behind the ball.
Bowyer’s young side have to find ways to counteract that if Middlesbrough choose to adopt similar spoiling tactics.
If Rovers do, then they will have every chance of returning to winning ways.
And it would be nothing more than their supporters, particularly those who have backed them so brilliantly on the road, deserve.
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