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Bowyer hails best performance

Gary Bowyer toasted the most complete performance of his Blackburn reign against QPR as they kept alive their aspirations of securing a Sky Bet Championship play-off berth.

Last Updated: 08/04/14 at 23:18 Post Comment

Gary Bowyer: Delighted with his side

Gary Bowyer: Delighted with his side

Goals from Rudy Gestede and Tommy Spurr meant Rovers ran out 2-0 winners over Rangers to take their unbeaten run to seven games and move them four points behind sixth-placed Reading. There is still a quartet of teams between the two, though, meaning the final five games are likely to see numerous twists in the play-off race.

Rangers themselves are slipping back into that mix after this loss at Ewood Park ensured Blackburn's bitter rivals Burnley could seal second spot this weekend.

However, while they may have inadvertently assisted their east Lancashire neighbours' quest, Bowyer's mind is firmly focused on his own team's run-in.

Asked if that was their best performance of the season, Bowyer said: "I think so, yes, for the full 90.

"We've had some impressive halves and spells in games but for a complete 90 minutes we were excellent and the players deserve all the credit.

"Everybody from start to finish, they were right at it and they were truly a credit to their football club tonight against a tough team."

Reading's loss at Bournemouth gave each of the chasing pack the opportunity to close the gap and with Ipswich and Brighton both winning, as well as Nottingham Forest picking up a point, Blackburn still have a host of teams between them and the play-off zone.

"Looking at the games tonight and the results, you wouldn't have been able to predict that," Bowyer admitted.

"The craziness of the Championship has got five games left so I'm sure it'll spin out loads of different permutations throughout them."

Bowyer was coy when asked about injuries after the match with 23-goal striker Jordan Rhodes substituted in the second half following a succession of knocks.

The Scotland international appeared to head off down the tunnel when withdrawn, and Bowyer said: "There's one or two (knocks). We'll see tomorrow morning, it wouldn't be Blackburn Rovers without a game finishing with an injury."

QPR assistant manager Kevin Bond admitted defeat in their pursuit of Burnley with Sean Dyche's men now 13 points clear of them with only 15 points left to play for.

"I think so," Bond said when asked whether automatic promotion was a step too far.

"I think we probably thought that it was going to be nigh on impossible for us before this evening. Obviously we just want to go into the latter part of the season in as good as form as we can and try and get a bit of momentum.

"Everyone knows how important it is in the most important part of the season and hopefully that will culminate in a play-off spot."

In truth, the visitors were architects of their own downfall. Gestede was allowed lots of space to fire in a ninth-minute opener while goalkeeper Rob Green evoked memories of his World Cup gaffe in 2010 by allowing Spurr's shot to sneak in past his near post.

However, Bond called on the R's to brush off back-to-back losses and the disappointment of failing to catch Burnley.

"We need to make sure we make the play-offs," he added.

"There are sides outside the play-off spots showing great form and that happens every year. One, more than one, will come with a great run and if they creep into the play-offs last game you have to be aware of them.

"At the moment, we just need to get our own house in order in terms of getting everybody fit and well so we can get everyone available for the manager to be able to pick his best side for the last few games of the season and, hopefully, going into the play-offs."

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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