Confidence high despite defeat says Rovers chief Bowyer
BULLISH Blackburn Rovers boss Gary Bowyer insists his side can go to Leeds United on New Year’s Day full of confidence – despite seeing their longest unbeaten run of the season come to an end.
Rovers lost for the first time in five matches yesterday as they went down 3-2 at home to in-form Birmingham City.
The Ewood Park outfit controlled most of the first half but found themselves three goals down at the break due to poor defending, a wonder strike and a goalkeeping error.
A second-half double from top scorer Jordan Rhodes set up a thrilling finale which Rovers could not quite cap with an equaliser.
But the spirit they showed after the restart has left Bowyer in upbeat mood ahead of the crucial War of the Roses clash at Elland Road.
“As daft as it sounds we are going to Leeds full of confidence,” said Bowyer, whose team enjoyed 63 per cent possession and had 25 shots on goal compared to Birmingham’s 11.
“And that comes from how we played. We dominated the game from start to finish.”
The defeat to Birmingham, who are now nine matches unbeaten, means that Rovers slip to 12th in the Championship. But they remain just four points behind the play-off places – and four points off Leeds in seventh.
Bowyer added: “We’re disappointed we’ve not picked up any points today but come the turn of the year and when you get to February, that’s when you’ve really got to go on a run.
“We’re hoping to stay in and around it and get that run going because I think we’ve got the fight, we’ve got the belief and I think you’ve seen we’ve got the quality.
“We just need to cut out these gifts that we’re giving the opposition.”
Rovers will be without Jason Lowe for the first time in the league this season against Leeds on Wednesday owing to suspension.
The midfielder picked up his fifth booking of the season yesterday and will serve a one-match ban.
David Dunn (hamstring), Josh King (back) and Todd Kane (thigh) all missed out through injury.
The trio will be assessed at Brockhall today.
Winger King is expected to return against Leeds while midfielder Dunn could also feature too.
But it is unlikely that on-loan Chelsea right-back Kane will recover in time.
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