‘We must toughen up’ blasts Rovers boss Bowyer
A FURIOUS and frustrated Gary Bowyer demanded that his Blackburn Rovers side show greater mental strength away from home after their travel woes continued.
Rovers have now lost five of their nine matches on the road this season after they went down to what the boss labelled an ‘unacceptable’ 3-1 defeat at Ipswich Town on Tuesday night.
Like in the 3-0 reverse at Brighton & Hove Albion last month it was a defeat entirely of their own making as they gifted Ipswich all three of their goals.
Going into the game Bowyer had challenged his players to keep the club’s first away clean sheet in the Championship in 14 months.
Rovers have kept five clean sheets in their last six matches at home.
So when questioned why they are unable to replicate that miserly form away from Ewood Park Bowyer said: “It’s got to come down to our mentality a little bit.
“We’ve got to be tougher and horrible to play against away from home like we’ve shown when we’re at home.
“It was not acceptable in terms of the goals that we gave away.”
Luke Hyam was given all the time in the world to fire the Tractor Boys into a fourth-minute lead.
Jordan Rhodes brought Rovers level but more shocking defending allowed Ipswich to regain the advantage through Carlos Edwards and a thoroughly miserable night was capped late on when goalkeeper Jake Kean’s horrendous mistake gave Frank Nouble the opportunity to make the game safe.
Tractor boys captain Edwards believes his goal three minutes after the restart was crucial.
Edwards said: “I think the timing of the goal just after half-time was really important for us because they had the momentum from the way they finished the first half. It probably knocked the wind out of their sails a bit.”
Although Rovers never truly recovered they were still in the game until Kean’s inexplicable error.
“Jake’s not going to hide from it, it’s a mistake from him,” added Bowyer.
“He’s big enough and brave enough to accept that. On Saturday he made a save that helped win us the game but tonight at 2-1 his mistake gave the game away when we were still in it.”
On a night when centre-back Grant Hanley injured his arm and right-back Todd Kane picked up his fifth booking of the season, ruling him out of Saturday’s trip to QPR, the arrival of new striker Rudy Gestede from the bench for his debut was one of the few positives Bowyer could take.
“He won some headers, he was a physical presence up there and showed what good potential he has got,” added the Rovers chief.
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