Blackburn Rovers made it eight games unbeaten on Boxing Day, as they drew 1-1 with Birmingham City at Ewood Park.
Tony Mowbray’s side had taken the lead from the penalty spot early in the second half, with Adam Armstrong converting after Sam Gallagher had been brought down by Wes Harding inside the Birmingham area.
It would however, be another penalty that would cost Rovers the chance of three points, as Amari’i Bell brought down Jacques Maghoma inside the Blackburn area just moments after that opener from Armstrong, with Kerim Mrabti firing home the resulting spot-kick to earn Birmingham a point.
That result means that Blackburn are now ninth in the Championship table, three points adrift of the play-off places just past the midway point of the season, leaving manager Tony Mowbray with plenty to think about ahead of his side’s trip to Huddersfield on Sunday afternoon.
Here, we take a look at three things we learnt about Blackburn from that draw with Birmingham.
Home comforts continue
Following that draw with Birmingham, it is now three months since Blackburn last lost at Ewood Park, since a 2-1 defeat to Luton at the end of September.
Indeed, Rovers have lost just twice on their own turf all season, and they are currently seventh in the Championship when only taking points picked up at home in the current campaign into consideration.
That just goes to show how hard Blackburn are to beat on their own turf once again this season, and if they can continue that form throughout the rest of the season, then they will be confident of keeping themselves within touching distance of the top six spots all the way through to the end of the campaign at the very least.
Tosin Adarabioyo’s return from injury will be a welcome one
While they may still be solid on home soil, Rovers will feel that back to back draws at Ewood against Wigan and Birmingham represent a pair of missed opportunities, given the form and position of those two sides ahead of those games.
Interestingly, one player who has been absent from both of those games is Tosin Adarabioyo, with the on-loan Manchester City centre back having found himself on the sidelines due to injury.
In the absence of the 22-year-old, Rovers have looked much less stable at the back, while the quality of their distribution from deep on the park has also dropped, leaving them both exposed in defence and lacking in attack.
With Mowbray revealing after the Wigan game that he expects Adarabioyo to be back for the Huddersfield game at the latest, it would be little surprise to see the centre back return to action on Sunday, as Rovers look to start turning draws into wins again.
Adam Armstrong may need to step up for Rovers in the next few months
Of course, Adarabioyo wasn’t the only regular feature of recent weeks to miss out for Blackburn against Birmingham, with Bradley Dack beginning his long spell on the sidelines following the horror injury he suffered against Wigan.
Speaking after Rovers’ latest draw, Mowbray confirmed that Dack is facing around 12 months on the sidelines, leaving Blackburn with a big hole to fill in their attack.
While Dack’s trickery and presence will be hard for anyone to recreate, it is his goals that Rovers ultimately need to replace if they are to keep themselves in the running this season, a job which may well fall now to Adam Armstrong.
The 22-year-old’s penalty against Birmingham was his sixth league goal of the season, cementing his place as the club’s second top scorer this season behind Dack, and taking him past his individual tally of five league goals from the previous campaign. It will be interesting to see if that is a stat that Armstrong is aware of, and if he is, it will surely be a big confidence boost for him as he faces the prospect of stepping into such a crucial role at Ewood Park over the course of the next year or so.