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We won't talk about play-offs yet, says Blackburn Rovers boss
MICHAEL Appleton insists no-one will be getting carried away at Ewood Park after seeing his side move just four points off the Championship play-off positions on Saturday.
The Rovers boss was delighted as a third successive clean sheet saw them jump five places with the 1-0 win over Ipswich – but he was adamant his squad won’t be talking about the play-offs.
Rovers travel to Brighton tomorrow as they prepare for a hectic next few weeks and Appleton knows there is plenty of work still left to do.
He said: “It has to be that way. You would be a silly, silly man to do anything different. We have got six or seven games in such a short period of time and we have a hell of a lot of points to play for.
“If you get carried away yourself, I have been in football long enough to know that it bites you on the bum quickly.
“We have some tough away games coming up and it is what we do in between each game and how we look after the players, to make sure they are physically right.”
The Rovers boss is though urging owners Venky’s to again back him in the transfer market – as he looks for four more signings to boost the club’s promotion prospects.
“We won’t be daunted. We will look after the players in between games and from my point of view I will sleep a lot easier if we have three or four new faces in.
“If key players in the team do get injured I don’t want players who are only going to affect the bench, I want players who, while they might start on the bench, once they get their opportunity they don’t make us any weaker – if anything they will make us stronger.
“That will be the message I will be giving to the owners and the people above and hopefully they will back me.
“I would like to think I will get one in before Tuesday night. I would be disappointed if I don’t and then we have a week until the next league game.”
Appleton was also unfazed by Saturday’s win not being pleasing on the eye – after insisting the priority has to be being hard to beat.
He said: “If you try to be too pretty in this league you get thumped, it is as simple as that. I think we have come up against a good side and we cancelled each other out a bit.
“I think the first half, with Jordan going off the pitch, they pinned us in our own half a bit and even when he came back they had a bit of momentum and it took 10 to 15 minutes to turn that round.
“I thought the second half was a much better performance. We created some really decent opportunities and I think DJ coming on gave us a bit of an impetus, it lifted the crowd as well.
“He is a threat in behind, as well as Jordan was, and I think Kaz going to the right hand side gave us a bit more composure at times in the wide area. We are delighted with how we went about it in the second half.”