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Mowbray: The early goal was crucial

The boss was thrilled with his side's performance at the Energy Check Stadium

18 November 2017

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Rovers boss Tony Mowbray admits that Marcus Antonsson's first-half brace killed off any potential Bury challenge as his side ran out 3-0 winners against the Shakers on Saturday.

Antonsson's opener came just after the hosts had a spell of early pressure on David Raya's goal and Mowbray believes the fast start was crucial to stopping the hosts finding any kind of rhythm in the game.

"It's never comfortable in football," Mowbray said at a chilly Energy Check Stadium.

"A couple of bits of quality in the first half knocked the stuffing out of them I think and we finished the game pretty comfortably.

"You have to give a lot of respect to Bury. They're unlucky to be where they are to be honest. They play nice football, but it was a game for us to come here and win and that was the only option today, particularly with the run they've been on.

"For long spells it was a dangerous game for us, but it's a hurdle we've got over and we move forward to the next game now."

Whilst Rovers' attacking display will get the plaudits, Mowbray was quick to praise his defensive unit, too.

Richie Smallwoord and Peter Whittingham marshalled the midfield well and the back four - and Raya - did their job when needed, as the hosts looked to get themselves back into the game.

"The defence that we have is confident and have belief in themselves that they can deal with most things thrown at them," added the manager.

"There were a few slipping on the turf early on, but we felt we were okay in allowing them to have the ball a little bit at times and we looked a real threat breaking away and could have scored a few more goals. I'm happy with the performance."

And Mowbray has now challenged his side to go on a run and go into games with 'complete belief' that they will gain all three points.

"When you come into games like this there seems to be a nervous energy that we've got to go straight out there and get the job done, but as the season unwinds that nervous tension turns into complete belief and the players can't see anything else but a win."

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