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Potters came and clogged it up

The boss reacts to a frustrating evening for his side against a spirited Stoke side at Ewood Park

26 February 2020

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Tony Mowbray couldn't hide his frustration after witnessing a stubborn Stoke City keep Rovers at bay on home turf on Tuesday night.

Rovers bossed the game throughout, and would have won the game were it not for some inspired goalkeeping from England international stopper Jack Butland.

Adam Armstrong, Ryan Nyambe, Joe Rothwell and Sam Gallagher all had opportunities, only to fire wide or force Butland into saves.

The point picked up does inch Rovers closer to the top six, with Mowbray's men now only four points off the play-off spots heading into this weekend's home clash with Swansea City.

“It was frustrating," the boss admitted to iFollow Rovers after the game.

"It feels a little bit like a couple of months ago when we played Wigan and Birmingham at home on the back of a pretty decent run of results.

“You have to say, the teams that are fighting for their lives at the bottom, you understand that they will come and make life difficult for you.

“They’re not going to come and take you on in a football match and make it a 50-50 game, which we’d probably win on transition because of (Adam) Armstrong’s speed.

“They came and clogged it up tonight really and made it really difficult for us. They had lads who could head the ball out the box, they kept their lines really tight, it was difficult to get the likes of (Joe) Rothwell and (Stewart) Downing on the ball behind their midfield.

“When we went wide and put it in, their central defenders were big, strong lads who could head it out, so it was a frustrating night for us.

“We had to be very mindful not to get hit on the counter-attack and lose the game 1-0. We knocked on the door, but we didn’t quite get there tonight, which is frustrating for us."

Rovers started well enough, with Rothwell tucking home on his return to the team only to see the offside flag raised.

The same player lifted over the upright soon after, and that was to be the story of the night on an opportunity that passed his team by.

“We tried hard enough, particularly early on," he admitted.

"I think the first 20 minutes we started really sharply and had some shots at their goal and looked a threat, but it petered out a little bit for us, so we are frustrated and disappointed, because we could have been sitting right on the cusp of the play-offs now.

“There’s still 11 games to go and we have to keep working really hard and picking up points in as many of those games as we can and see where it takes us.”


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