Rovers suffered their second consecutive post-international break defeat on Saturday, as Norwich City comprehensively beat Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side, 2-0 in front of a packed Ewood Park on Good Friday. The Dane reviewed the game and issues a rallying cry for the supporters during the season’s closing games.
“We’re disappointed to lose against Norwich City, especially in-front of a big home crowd. It was probably our biggest crowd of the season, so I feel sorry and want to apologise to the fans. I thought it was an extremely equal game, but not one full of chances in the first-half. We played against a side, today who have a lot of Premier League experience and a huge budget, one of the biggest in the league. In the second-half, they were a bit deeper and focussed on transitional play.
“We had a very big moment just before they scored the second goal, where I think we should have scored. You can, of course, lose any game in this league. On the other hand, the boys continued to push forwards and try to create chances. We created plenty of chances today, but we were missing that clinical edge, which was the difference between both teams.
“When you concede goals, they’re always because of mistakes. That’s disappointing and we’re all disappointed for the fans because we lost in-front of a big crowd. On the other hand, we’re still in a very good league position. We’re surprised that we are there, if you look at the age of our players and the difference in budgets, but we are chasing the playoffs. We also chased the game today and tried to get back into it, which we saw at 2-0 down. We were not worrying about conceding a third, we were focussed on scoring to get back into the game.
“Norwich scored early in both halves and of course, goals change games. We’re disappointed, but we tried a lot in an even game. It was a battle between two teams who are fighting to get into the playoffs. The boys tried their best in the second-half and looked to try and create chances to get back into the game. We were creating a lot of opportunities, but we failed to score. We lacked the quality in the first-half to test their goalkeeper. We didn’t do that until late in the second period. Our choices in the final third and in the box, especially in the first-half was not the best, even though we managed to create space. Their second goal at the start of the second-half was a chaotic moment. We lost the ball and suddenly there was a Norwich counter-attack and they scored a top-class goal with a brilliant finish.
“You should always look at the big picture in football. Today, we played against a team who need to go up, they have a big budget for this division and players who have Premier League experience, and yet, I thought we were on the same level overall except in-front of goal. We are in a good position and we will do our best and keep chasing the playoffs until the final game of the season. Of course, we are all surprised we’re in this position, but now that we’re here, we want to finish in the top six.
“Today, we can be disappointed after that result, but tomorrow, we need to forget about today and focus on Monday’s game. We’re in a great position, and will play against Huddersfield Town who are in great form at the moment, but we did manage to do show some good things today, as well, despite the defeat. We need to focus on these positives and work hard to improve.
“Huddersfield Town are in good form, yet, as I’ve said all season, there’s a possibility that you can win and lose every game in the division, because it’s that competitive. We see the inconsistency of the division every week.
“It’s great to see so many people in the stands, today. We’re disappointed that we couldn’t reward their effort with a result, today, but on the other hand, it’s extremely important that they stay behind and back the team the whole way and they remain calm as we will try to be.
“You always need the help of the supporters, whether you’ve had positive results or negative results. We lost at Birmingham City in a game I think we should have won, and today we’ve lost an even game. That’s part of football. I hate to lose, the players hate to lose and the fans hate to lose. We all hate it! But we will go out on the pitch, on Monday, wanting to win and reward the travelling fans.
“I haven’t spoken with the medical department yet, so although it’s a quick turnaround for Monday, I will receive updates on the players over Saturday and Sunday.”