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A wake-up call

5 August 2017

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Tony Mowbray felt his Rovers side were given a rude awakening to life in League One as they fell to an opening day defeat at the hands of Southend United.

First half goals from Ryan Leonard and Michael Kightly put the Shrimpers in control, and although Charlie Mulgrew gave the 1500 travelling supporters a glimmer of hope with an expertly-taken second half free-kick, the home side saw the match out comfortably.

"Obviously it was not what we were looking for," said the Rovers boss after the game.

"If you want to put a cliché on it then it was probably a wake-up call for us, a 'welcome to the division'.

"It is what we will face every week and I've tried to get that message across loud and clear all week as to what this league is about. You have to earn the right to play your football and I think we found that today.

"The first goal was a set-play, and in this division if you don't defend set-plays well then you are going to lose a lot of goals because every team focuses on set-plays.

"It is frustrated for us but there are no excuses. It is disappointing for the supporters who travelled in huge numbers.

"We have to get used to this division and get used to it very quickly. Every team fights for their lives.

"It is the start of the season and you always get results like this at the start of the season, I said that in the week. You have to adapt, you have to get used to the new division and undertand what the league is about.

"The quicker our players understand the messages that I've been trying to pass to them the more beneficial it will be."

Rovers are back in action this Tuesday night when they travel to take on Coventry City in the first round of the Carabao Cup.

Tickets are currently on open sale priced at Adults £12, Seniors 60+ £8, 18-21 £8
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