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A purpose served

Posted: Sun 07 Jul 2013
Author: rovers.co.uk
Gary Bowyer

Gary Bowyer

Image by: Action Images

Rovers boss Gary Bowyer believes there were plenty of positives to take from Saturday's opening pre-season friendly with Wrexham.

Despite being held to a 1-1 draw, the manager was pleased with Rovers' general level of play and was delighted that the bulk of the senior squad all got 45 minutes of football under their belts in the scorching North Wales sun.
 
Blackburn-born Brett Ormerod opened the scoring for the home side with a stunning strike on 16 minutes, before trialist Yann Songo'o and Alan Judge were both denied by sensational saves from Wrexham keeper Andy Coughlin.
 
Jordan Rhodes and John O'Sullivan rattled the woodwork either side of half-time and David Dunn had a shot cleared off the line, before debutant Chris Taylor headed home the equaliser right at the death.
 
Bowyer said: "First and foremost, credit to Wrexham. When we planned pre-season, we knew what it was going to be like. 
 
"We knew that Wrexham were good with the ball. They narrowly missed out on promotion last season and I thought they started off brightly, which was good for us in a sense, because we got our fitness levels out of it. 
 
"Then we settled into the game. I thought Alan Judge showed glimpses of what he's capable of, when he went through. Their goalkeeper pulled off about three or four top class saves and Jordan's hit the up-right.
 
"Overall, the first half was probably a little bit harder than the second half for us. Their lad scored a wonder goal, but second half I thought we controlled the game and I was pleased with some of our performances - Todd Kane was excellent, John Sullivan impressed. He's hit the post, we've had one cleared off the line, we've had numerous chances again, so there were a lot of positives.
 
"Every game you play you want to try and win, but the main focus was the fitness levels and we've got that under the belt, so I think it served its purpose.
 
"We worked hard in training all week and the most important thing was to get 45 minutes under their belt for each team and we achieved that."
 
The manager paid special praise to the performances of the summer signings and was delighted to see goalscorer Chris Taylor get his Rovers career off to the perfect start.
 
"It's always important for the new signings to bed themselves in quickly and credit to all of them," Bowyer added. 
 
"Simon Eastwood, Todd Kane, DJ Campbell, Chris Taylor and Alan Judge have all settled in very well. The spirit amongst the group is good, we just now need to kick on.
 
"But yes, it was a great header from Chris."