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Same team, same results...

It's been 19 years that the same starting XI has won three consecutive Championship games

9 December 2019

Eminem and then - somehow - Bob The Builder held the number one spots in the UK music charts the last time Rovers picked up three Championship wins in a row with the same starting XI.

Damien Duff was whipping crosses into Mark Hughes and Marcus Bent, Garry Flitcroft was marshalling the midfield and David Dunn was on his way to a breakthrough 12-goal season to help Graeme Souness' side to promotion to the top flight at the end of that campaign.

In the 19 years that have passed from the 2000-01 Division One campaign, no manager has selected the same team that has recorded three wins in a row - until now.

Following wins over Brentford, Stoke City and Derby County, all with the same starting team, Rovers have broken that near two decade run, so we decided to look back on how things went all those years ago.

It's actually 19 years to the month that those trio of triumphs arrived, which started with Rovers beating arch rivals Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday 17th December 2000.

Jason McAteer and Marcus Bent put The Clarets to the sword to win 2-0 on their own patch either side of Kevin Ball's sending off for a rash challenge on Dunn.

So impressive was the display, Souness put faith in the same team once again just five days later at Crystal Palce.

Of Dunn's 12 goals that season, two of them came in south London, with the playmaker setting Rovers on their way to victory from the spot after Fan Zhiyi was shown a straight red just 11 minutes into the contest.

Dunn doubled his and Rovers' tally four minutes later before Martin Taylor put Rovers into a commanding three-goal lead just before the break.

The hosts rallied and pulled two goals back thanks to Mikael Forssell and Hayden Mullins, but Rovers held on for a priceless 3-2 victory on the road.

That ensured it was a great Christmas for Souness' side, who would be back at Ewood Park on Boxing Day to face Birmingham City, just as we will this season.

Following a goal-less first half on home turf, Matt Jansen emerged off the bench to score four minutes after replacing Mark Hughes.

It looked like Rovers could go home frustrated when Darren Purse smashed home an equaliser for The Blues with two minutes remaining, but Rovers weren't done, with Jansen popping up with a winner in added time to earn the points.

Rovers would go on to make it four wins on the spin against Crewe, but the team was altered, and would go on to achieve promotion at the end of that campaign.

The team for those three wins can be seen below:

Brad Friedel, John Curtis, Henning Berg, Martin Taylor, Stig Inge Bjornebye, David Dunn, Damien Duff, Jason McAteer, Garry Flitcroft, Marcus Bent, Mark Hughes.

Fast-forward 19 years and Rovers have achieved the same feat, but can the class of 2019, starting with the same 11 members, make it four consecutive wins?

Will Christian, Ryan, Darragh, Tosin, Stewart, Lewis, Corry, Adam, Bradley, Joe and Danny produce the goods again?

We'll find out on Wednesday night at Swansea City!


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