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3 things we clearly learnt about Blackburn Rovers after their 1-0 loss to Stoke

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Blackburn Rovers were dealt yet another setback on Monday afternoon, as they were beaten 1-0 by Stoke City at Ewood Park.

Things couldn’t have started much worse for Rovers, with Jacob Brown latching on to Josh Maja’s flicked header beyond the host’s defence, before firing under the onrushing Thomas Kaminski to open the scoring just five minutes into the game.

After a disappointing first half that saw Rovers barely threaten an equaliser, an improved second half performance saw both Sam Gallagher and Ryan Hedges go close.

However, Stoke were able to hang on to claim all three points, and leave Rovers manager Tony Mowbray with plenty to think about.

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So with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at three things we learnt about Blackburn from that defeat to Stoke, right here.

Back four the way to go

Once again, Rovers would start with a back five system on Monday afternoon, and once again, they would turn in a below par first half performance while playing in that formation.

Brown got in behind the defence all too easily to open the scoring, and Mowbray’s side never looked convincing at the back when Stoke got forward.

After the break, however, a switch to a back four saw Rovers look more stable in defence, while the extra man in midfield – Joe Rothwell – helped to provide the hosts with a greater threat going forward, meaning Mowbray surely has to start with four in defence in the final games of the campaign, if they are to have a chance of getting anything from them.

Sam Gallagher steps up

While many in a Blackburn shirt struggled to impose themselves on the game for long periods on Monday, Gallagher was one man who did look capable of turning the game in Rovers’ favour.

The striker’s tireless work rate was hard not to admire even in a side that at times looked devoid of ideas, and if anyone was going to get them back into the game, it seemed likely to be Gallagher, who caused the Stoke defence all sorts of problems with his dribbling, one of which led to a brilliant curling effort from inside the area that came off the post when it deserved a goal.

With all the talk about the potential summer departure of Ben Brereton, these sorts of showings from Gallagher, do offer Blackburn some hope in attack for next season.

Play-off hopes hanging by a thread

Admittedly, with three games to go and Blackburn still just three points adrift of sixth-placed, they are still mathematically in with a chance of claiming a top six spot.

However, that defeat to the Potters on Monday means that Rovers have now won just two of their last 15 games, and having left it way too late to put the sort of pressure on Stoke required to get the win they needed, it feels hard right now to see where the points they need to overhaul that deficit will come from.

With that in mind, you get the feeling that there may be more than a few Blackburn fans who by now, will just be hoping to see the season come to an end as soon as possible.


UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 things we clearly learnt about Blackburn Rovers after their 1-0 loss to Stoke

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