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Aiming for consistency

Posted: Fri 25 Jan 2013
Author: rovers.co.uk

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Michael Appleton isn't expected to make too many changes ahead of Saturday's FA Cup with Budweiser clash with Derby County.

After Tuesday night's draw with Brighton, the Rovers boss is looking for his side to gain a level of consistency and so he's likely to go with a similar squad once more rather than use the Pride Park clash as a chance to see some of the other members of the squad in action.

"I've had a chance to see some of the fringe ones in training, which isn't quite the same obviously as them having some game time," said Appleton.

"We've also had a couple of behind closed door games which gives you a little bit of an insight into them.

"But I think that we, as a club, are in a position where there has to be consistency, on and off the pitch. There's not been enough consistency on the pitch and there's certainly not been enough consistency off the pitch.

"So I think we just have to find a level playing ground and the more that I can keep the same sort of group together, as much as we possibly can between now and the end of the season, I think you'll certainly see a lot more improvements on the field, which will make it a happier place off it."

One player that Rovers will be without on Saturday in the fourth round clash is Chelsea loanee Todd Kane.

The full-back is cup-tied having already played in the competition with previous club Preston North End.

Kane has impressed since arriving from the Stamford Bridge club with Appleton delighted with the way he has adapted and taken on instruction.

"Hes a young lad, a young player, a good learner, he wants to learn all the time," added the Rovers boss.

"He improved the other night, I thought when we gained the ball back in the first half, at times he was a little bit anxious to find his front man a little bit quicker than he should have because they were so open.

"But he learnt really quickly, we got the message to him at half-time about not worrying about popping the ball into the midfield players before it has to go to your front men, and he learnt quickly in that second half and was much better.

"So he's done okay has Todd, he can be happy with the way things have gone so far."

Joshua King is close to making a return following a hamstring strain, but the Rovers boss might give the Norwegian international another couple of days to fully recover.

Appleton is expected to select from: Kean, Dann, Hanley, Martin Olsson, Lowe, Murphy, Pedersen, Markus Olsson, Kazim-Richards, Rhodes, Usai, Givet, Fabio Nunes, Dunn, Nuno Gomes, Rochina, Morris, Goodwillie, Vukcevic, Rosado.

Tickets for the Derby clash will be on sale at Ewood Park until 4pm Friday. They will be on sale on the day from 12pm on Saturday from the South Stand Away Ticket Office. Full pricing details can be found here.