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Blackburn Rovers defender believes in late play-off push
SCOTT Dann insists anything other than believing in Blackburn Rovers’ late Championship play-off push would be “wrong” after admitting they can’t afford to waste a single point.
Rovers’ centre back helped boss Michael Appleton to his first victory with a wonder strike in Saturday’s FA Cup win at Derby and now knows the importance of a winning run in the league.
With relegation favourites Bristol City up next at Ewood Park, followed by Ipswich Town, Rovers will know it is a case of now or never with regards launching their play-off challenge.
Appleton’s men have already lost six home league games this season, leaving them 15th in the Championship, and Dann knows that has to change.
He said: “We are 10 points off the play-offs but you never know in this league. That is what we will be aiming for but in the next couple of games we have to be picking up maximum points.
“If we are to have any chance of getting in the play-offs, every game and every three points is going to be valuable. We can’t go out and not be ready, we have to go out on the front foot and try and get the three points every game.
“It is a big ask but it is not undoable. We have to be striving to do that and if we were not we would be wrong.”
After a dismal defeat against Charlton in his first match as Rovers boss, Appleton has overseen encouraging performances against Brighton and Derby.
Dann believes the trouncing of the Rams could be a sign of things to come, but only if the work rate shown in recent matches continues.
“We have to carry it on,” he said. “It is a great win but that has gone now, we have to concentrate on the next game.
“We need to make sure we keep that energy and work rate up. If we work as hard as we did today we will start picking up more results.
“If we work hard as a team and work for each other more wins will come. We have got the quality and probably one of the better teams in the league in terms of quality but it is a tough league to get out of.
“We found that in the first half of the season and we need more points.”
Meanwhile left winger Markus Olsson is relishing the last few months of the campaign as he looks to continue the form he showed at Pride Park on Saturday, where he played in tandem with his brother Martin down the left hand side.
The Swede has struggled with injury this campaign but, now back to full fitness, he is determined to finally establish himself as a regular.
He said: “I was out a while, came back and had a good run and then was out again with injury.
“I am feeling good now, training and since the new gaffer has come the type of football he wants to play leaves me happy every day.
“I started well this season and mentally it has been difficult at times.
“When I got into the side last game I wanted to show I want to be in the team every week.
“I have to show the gaffer I want to play. He is telling me ‘be hungry, show energy’ and I am that type of player anyway.
“I am an energy player and when I focus 100 per cent I play well. That is what I am trying to do.
“We have new players and the competition is more than ever. Everybody wants to play and it feels like we can build from the last game.
“Everybody needs to be on their toes. Nobody can be comfortable and the main thing is getting everyone on their toes.”