SUCCESS in the FA Cup can often be a poisoned chalice.
At times it can provide a welcome distraction, while at others it is an unnecessary extra game causing injuries and fatigue among the players.
Saturday’s 3-0 win at Derby, however, could be vital to Rovers getting the season back on track.
It was good to see another solid performance from Scott Dann, and that is regardless of his incredible goal. He was man of the match at Burnley a few weeks back and has been much improved all season.
And Jordan ‘he scores when he wants’ Rhodes netted for the fourth consecutive match, going some way to justify that transfer fee.
As a team, the performance was excellent. We never gave Derby a chance, Nigel Clough remarking afterwards: “Blackburn were a bit too good for us.”
Now we must carry that momentum on into the league and start being too good for the opposition on our own turf.
Michael Appleton has taken charge of three games and there has been a marked improvement in each.
The Charlton match was pathetic, but it was the first time he saw his new charges in competitive action, and probably acted as a good wake up call to the challenges he faces ahead.
Tuesday’s agonising draw with Brighton, though a disappointing result and a game we really should have won, was an encouraging improvement, as was Saturday, which should give the players a bit of heart after getting back that winning feeling.
We had four consecutive home games ahead of the Charlton game, and it was vital we took a good number of points.
Fingers crossed we can carry our form from Saturday into the next game at home to Bristol City on Saturday and then the Ipswich game the following weekend.
Both are sides we really should be beating – we have already beaten Bristol City twice!
Ahead of the quintet of home fixtures I said they could make or break our season, and now we sit 10 points behind Middlesbrough in sixth. Two wins are needed for us to have any realistic hopes of making the play-offs.
As for the FA Cup, Arsenal away was the perfect draw.We can go to The Emirates comfortable in the knowledge that anything more than defeat is a bonus.
The pressure is well and truly off and who knows, perhaps we will be the ones pulling off the next shock. in an extraordinary FA Cup so far.