SOME players who go banging on Gary Bowyer’s door for more game time may find their knocks go unanswered.
Rovers boss Bowyer admitted as much after his much-changed side suffered an embarrassing Capital One Cup exit at the hands of League One new boys Scunthorpe United at Ewood Park on Tuesday.
Without naming names Bowyer, speaking immediately after the dispiriting 1-0 loss, said: “As a manager at times you get players knocking on your door and asking why they are not in the team and when will they get their opportunity.
“Well tonight has presented itself with that opportunity.
“Some have taken it and some have not – and it’s as simple as that.
“We’ve worked very hard over the last 12 months in getting the right mentality and we’ve always been honest and never made excuses – and that’s what we’re doing again.”
Only captain-for-the-night Jason Lowe remained from the Rovers team which started Friday’s Championship opener against Cardiff City.
But when asked whether he regretted making 10 changes Bowyer said: “We’ve spoke about our numbers and we lost one (Matt Kilgallon) on Friday, so we were already one lighter, but what it did do was provide an opportunity for the others.
“They had the opportunity to put a case forward to be in the starting line-up.”
With a few exceptions, including young centre Jack O’Connell, who was named man of the match on his senior debut for Rovers, those opportunities were not taken.
And Bowyer, after tasting defeat for the first time since March, added: “I’ll always defend the players when they’ve given everything they’ve got and they’ve given their best.
“That’s what we demanded tonight but, in the first 45 minutes especially, they did not give their best and we have to accept the consequences of that.”
Scunthorpe were worthy winners but Neal Bishop’s decisive goal, headed in from a Gary McSheffrey corner, was completely avoidable.
It was the second game running in which Rovers had conceded from a set-piece after Kenwyne Jones headed in from a free kick in the 1-1 draw with Cardiff.
And Bowyer said: “It was poor marking from us, the lad has got free and headed it in the goal.
“There can be no excuses.”
Scunthorpe boss Russ Wilcox, a former assistant manager at Burnley, said: “Playing against better players, you’ve got to make sure you don’t engage too high up the pitch because that’s when they can hurt you.
“Blackburn made 10 changes but they’ve still got quality within the squad and there were still names on the team sheet that are very experienced Championship players.
“From goalkeeper right through to the strikers, I thought it was a fantastic team performance built on hard work, endeavour, organisation and quality.”