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Blackburn paying price for defence strategy


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By Jack Higgins

Monday 09 April 2012

A crushing defeat this weekend saw Blackburn dragged back into the relegation zone with only six remaining fixtures.



Blackburn travelled to The Hawthorns in the hope of beating a West Brom side that had taken only one point from the last four games. An early own goal from Blackburn left back Martin Olsson and second half goals from Marc Antoine Fortune and Liam Ridgewell gave West Brom a resounding 3-0 win but arguably, as so often in football, the result didn’t match the two teams performances.


Blackburn showed throughout the game they have the fight and belief that they can retain their Premier League status but yet again, their sloppy defending gave them little chance of taking any points back to Ewood Park.


Players like Yakubu and young Junior Hoilett will often create chances for Rovers and the fact they have scored 43 league goals this season (12th most in the Premier League) proves they have no problems finding the back of the net, but its at the other of the pitch that will be the key factor in staying out of the relegation zone come the end of the season.


Blackburn have the second worst defensive record in the top flight this season, conceding 67 goals in 32 league games so far. The inexperience of Grant Hanley and Jason Lowe who have both featured heavily in Rovers’ back four this season has proved costly in certain games. Also the signing of Bradley Orr, a player who had no Premier League experience, was arguably a questionable signing especially when he was signed to replace a former Real Madrid full back in Michel Salgado, a player who seems to have been frozen out due to contractual issues.


There was also the fact former captain Ryan Nelsen was sold to a Champions League chasing Tottenham Hotspur.


Players like Salgado and Nelsen would have surely given Rovers a bit of experience and stability in the final games of the season where Blackburn need to produce results.


With teams such as Liverpool and Tottenham yet to play, plus a daunting last game of the season away at Chelsea, Blackburn need to produce the solid displays they are capable of in order to pick up the necessary points to secure survival.


Wins earlier in the season against Liverpool and Man Utd away may have surprised many of the neutral football fans, as well as giving manager Steve Kean a bit of breathing space from the angry fans protests that have often made appearances at their home games, but it will be sure to give the Rovers players a bit of confidence when Liverpool visit Ewood Park this week.


With only 16 wins out of 60 games under the guidance of Kean and with striker Anthony Modeste due to miss three of the final six games due to his silly red card at West Brom, Blackburn’s task does look difficult, especially when they are still 12 points off that elusive 40 points mark that is often the target of many clubs striving to avoid relegation from the Premiership.


See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Blackburn v Liverpool



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