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Atmosphere key to Rovers success
7:27am Wednesday 24th October 2012 in Sport
ROVERS boss Eric Black wants to create a winning atmosphere at Ewood Park as the club bid to end their five match winless run against Sheffield Wednesday tonight.
The caretaker boss has overseen four of those matches since Steve Kean’s resignation and is desperate to ensure that events off the pitch don’t affect results on it.
“I won’t allow that to happen,” he said. “The circumstances are the circumstances and whether they are the right conditions to move forward is an opinion.
“They are professional football players and what I am trying to do is ensure it (the manager search) is not an excuse.
“Knowing the group, I haven’t had that worry and they have given me everything they have and that’s all that matters.”
And Black is adamant that the club’s ongoing search for a new boss couldn’t be further from his mind, despite the uncertainty it creates over his future.
“It’s a slight concern but I have been in the game long enough to know how it operates. If I have to walk out of the door or I am told to leave I will do so with my head held high.
“I can’t affect it (the manager search) and I can’t allow myself to be caught up it,” he added.
“I am only focusing on when the game starts and what we are going to do with the ball and what we are going to do in possession.”
Black is also hopeful the fans who do make the journey to Ewood Park tonight do so in support of the team.
And he knows that improving home form will help the cause on all fronts, yet he is wary of the threat Wednesday, who have not tasted a victory of any sort since August, will pose having travelled to Yorkshire to watch the 1-1 draw with Leeds United last Friday night.
“The more people that come in and shout for Blackburn Rovers then the happier I am going to be,” said Black.
“The atmosphere at Hillsborough was absolutely fantastic and anything that we can do to match that is a good thing.
“We are trying to change a lot of things to get a stable platform going forward.
“We’ve had three out of four difficult away games. If we are going to get where we want to be we have to start winning games.”
And there is no better time to start than tonight with the Owls heading to Lancashire on a dreadful run of form that leaves them winless in nine matches.
“From what I saw on Friday night they will be difficult opponents,” said Black. “I don’t pay an awful lot of attention to the league at the moment because of the early stage of the season, I just look at the performance.
“I went to the Wednesday game the other night and watched an extremely exciting British football match.
“There were a lot of incidents that we wouldn’t want to cover but in terms of a spectacle on the pitch I thought it was excellent and Sheffield Wednesday contributed enormously to that.
“They’ve got Premiership ability, they’re physical and they want to play for the manager.
“Most of the teams in the division have got that and unless you’re prepared to match that then anything else becomes irrelevant.”
The Rovers caretaker boss is taking plenty of positives from the weekend draw at Derby when only a late leveller prevented his side from taking all three points.
“I thought on Saturday for the first hour we were in control of the game, looked a decent side and had a decent structure about us,” he added.
“I thought we created, remember we were away from home, enough chances against a really high energy Derby team who try and press the ball at every opportunity.
“The disappointing factor for me is that in the last 25 minutes we dropped into a lull which I think for the players we have is not acceptable. We need to resolve that very quickly.
“The players deserve credit for that first hour but they have been made fully aware that if we are going to get where we want to get then the last 25 minutes is not where we want to be.”
Black can call on the same squad that travelled to Pride Park, which included the return of David Dunn in the middle of midfield.
And Black believes the form of Dunn could be crucial to Rovers chances of climbing the table.
“David Dunn has been desperate to play, he’s a Blackburn lad and he wants to affect the outcome,” said Black.
“I thought on Saturday he did that. We’ve got to get him into a position where he can do that on a regular basis.
“Obviously fitness wise we knew he wasn’t quite there but it’s our responsibility, and his, to get his fitness up to a level where he can contribute more and more. But I thought for the time he was on the pitch he did really well.”
Black has also added youngster Raheem Hanley into the squad for tonight’s game.
And whatever the outcome of tonight’s game, Black wouldn’t swap his place in the dugout for anywhere else.
“It’s football management, people are under pressure to win games,” he said.
“You have to accept that or you don’t get involved in the industry.”
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