“I’m proud with how the players operated today and the way we played football.”

“I’m proud with how the players operated today and the way we played football.”

Rovers secured an eleventh game unbeaten after putting in a fine performance to beat promotion-chasing Sheffield United, 1-0 at Ewood Park on Saturday. Jon Dahl Tomasson was full of praise for his young team as he dissected the tie with RoversTV.

“The players deserve all the credit, because they have done an excellent job today. It’s been a brilliant week, and I’m very pleased with the win, today. To play at the level they did today, only a few days after winning away at Leicester City in the FA Cup, against a side with a Premier League budget was amazing. The way we dealt with Sheffield United, was brilliant. We took the physical battle when it was necessary, and we played some great football. We hit the woodwork twice and probably should have scored a second with the chances we had. When you look at the quality Sheffield United have, you know they can be dangerous, but we defended them well to secure a clean-sheet.

“The atmosphere, here at Ewood, was amazing! It was great to see all the fans behind us and brilliant to hear all of the noise they made to support and help the team to victory. We’re looking forward to the rest of the home games, where we will need them more than ever. It’s been a great day. February was a great month, where we went unbeaten, but we’ve started March in an excellent way.

“Our goal was excellent! We won the ball in our box and played one-touch football to carry it forwards as Sorba (Thomas) gave it to Sammie (Szmodics). He carried the ball forwards which was the correct decision. He switched it over to Tyrhys (Dolan), who took one touch to control before passing it to Harry (Pickering) who provided a great finish! The players have been fantastic. I think, if you look at the development within the squad, it’s very good, even with a lot of injuries. It’s good to see what we’ve been working on the whole year. You can see the spirit and togetherness of the squad and the lads are showing that with their organisation on the pitch. We’re also seeing good football where we’re creating chances, so the style is positive for the development of the players. Yesterday, I watched the reverse fixture, where we lost to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane and we’re seeing a completely different team play, now.

“The lads deserve great credit for the development they have made, but we mustn’t stop there. We always need to look at ways to improve and get better. Things can always be better. We can always enjoy the victory and the points, but no the other hand, we play Stoke City next week!

“It would have been better for my heart and the hearts of all the supporters if we managed to score a second goal, today! Saying that, the game remained very exciting and our fans helped us get the hard-fought three points. The way we attacked in the second-half and locked Sheffield United around their own six-yard box during a period of the game was great to see. The game showed our maturity. It was important to deal with the physicality of Sheffield United, because they are a brilliant team. I’m proud with how the players operated today and the way we played football, because some of the play we produced was excellent.

“The stadium was on fire today. I will not choose a ‘Man of the Match’, today. I will give the award to the fans, because they were excellent. The fans have been brilliant since our first day at Rovers. Ewood Park has been a fortress for us and they have helped us do that. Today was top-class and we need them to continue their support, even when we don’t play as well as we did, today.

“The intensity and energy of the players was incredible, especially after such a tough February. We played nine games in February and a lot of them were away against some top teams, which cost us a lot of energy. Now, we’ve started March with such a great performance like that, but the players are in good shape. You can see that I’ve been trying to use the whole squad. The players who played in the under-21’s game against Huddersfield Town B the other week, started against Leicester City on Tuesday, which is part of football. We need to use the whole squad and keep everybody involved and match fit. Sometimes one player can be in better shape than another, that is possible, but it’s great to see the energy and intensity the lads have been playing with recently.

“Lewis Travis has been excellent and is doing a brilliant job. It’s great to see him perform so well recently and again today, but even when he wasn’t playing for a while, he was still important in the dressing room and helped the team a lot. You can always help the team off the pitch, which he has continued to do, even when he’s been playing, which is great to see.”