A rousing Rovers performance saw Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side return to winning ways on home soil after his young, depleted team, beat Birmingham City, 4-2, at Ewood Park. After the tie, the Great Dane was full of praise for his boys as he revealed to RoversTV.
“We’re extremely pleased to win tonight, which is our second win of the week. We’re also delighted to win at Ewood Park. It was a cold night, but after a sub-par first-half, our fans got value for money in terms of entertainment! We scored goals and conceded goals, after no goals in the first-half. We spoke at half-time about wanting to play quicker with fewer touches, because we were quite slow in the first-half. We wanted to move the ball forwards and make runs in behind, which is exactly what we did for Sammie’s (Szmodics) two goals. They are ‘football goals’ at a very high level. Tonight’s second-half was like watching Brazil back in the ‘good old days!’
“We took a 3-0 lead and normally that should kill the game and mark the day as an ‘easy day at the office’, but we gave two unnecessary goals away. However, after that, we showed great spirit, togetherness and resilience, which this team has. We worked hard and fought for the points, the club and the fans and it was great to see us score the fourth to guarantee the points. Hopefully we gave the fans who were here on a very cold night, something to enjoy.
“Days like today are how we want to play; this is what we work on in training. No team in the world can play like we did in the second-half, for the whole 90 minutes, but we are capable of playing extremely good football when we do the right things, which was great to see.
“We’ve had a big period, but I think Sammie has been playing really well over the past year, not just this last period. He’s now scoring a lot of goals. One’s thing for sure is that he always gets into good positions; the ball finds him. The way we’re playing suits him well, but we shouldn’t forget about how hard he works for Rovers, defensively. You need to be able to do both and he’s giving us that, which is great to see. We’re quite stretched at the moment. We’ve lost Trav (Lewis Travis) after he got his fifth yellow card, tonight, meaning he won’t play on Saturday against Sheffield Wednesday. We’re also disappointed to lose Tyrhys Dolan through injury, too. It’s too early to say how long he might be out for, but he felt something in his knee and he couldn’t run, so we have to wait until the scan.
“We saw brilliant resilience tonight. This group are great and they are working so hard. Sometimes we lose games and points, but their commitment and their hard-work for Rovers is always there. I think our fans are extremely pleased when they see this team, because it’s a group that has a lot of development room and a great spirit. We all know that we can play great football, but that spirit and desire to improve, because we’re still young, is there, although we will make mistakes.
“I was delighted at 3-0, thinking that normally you win the game from that position. Then we conceded two unnecessary goals which can happen in football and on a bad day, we draw that game, 3-3, which would have been a nightmare. That victory is a reward for the games that we didn’t win here at Ewood. We’ve been putting in some performances here this season, that were worthy of points and we should have had a lot more home wins that we do have, but I’m pleased for the lads and the fans. For me, Ewood Park is our fortress and nothing has changed in that regard.”