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No more Mr Nice Guy, says Blackburn Rovers boss
BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer has got tough with his players in a bid to inspire a shock win at title-chasing QPR tomorrow.
Angry Bowyer let his side know in no uncertain terms that their second-half showing in Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat to Ipswich Town was unacceptable before demanding an instant reaction at Loftus Road.
And if he gets one he sees no reason why Rovers cannot end QPR’s unbeaten home record.
“The players understood more the passion and desire that I have, what my standards are, what is acceptable and what is not acceptable,” said Bowyer, who admits he has never been angrier than he was after the Portman Road collapse.
“I think they’ve seen that from me that’s for sure.
“I’ve come out in the press and defended them when they’ve performed well and lost, and praised them when the time was right to praise them, but the second half showing was not good enough for what we want to achieve this year.”
Bowyer and his coaching staff sat down with the Rovers squad yesterday morning and went through the Ipswich game before shifting their focus to the clash with Harry Redknapp’s high flyers.
“We’ve watched it with the players, made our points clear, and that’s the end of it,” said Bowyer.
“Now we’ve got to make sure we have a response against QPR because we’re more than capable of going and winning there. They’ve got a Premiership manager, Premiership players and a Premiership budget.
“But it’s a chance for us to go down there and see what we’re made of – and see who has got some heart and some fight because that’s what we’re demanding.”
Rovers, who are now eight points behind the play-off places in 13th, will be underdogs. They have won only one away game all season while second-placed QPR have tasted eight victories and one draw in front of their own fans.
But given that Rovers have drawn at third-placed Burnley, fourth-placed Derby County and sixth-placed Blackpool, Bowyer believes they can become the first team to win at the home of the Hoops.
“We’ve also drawn at home to Reading and beat Watford and Leeds at home and they were or are in the top six,” added Bowyer, who concedes now is the time for actions not words.
“We’re more than capable of going there, putting a performance in and winning the game.
“That’s the challenge for us and it is one I’m certainly relishing.”
Chris Taylor and David Dunn return tomorrow while Grant Hanley is expected to recover from the arm injury that he sustained against Ipswich. But Todd Kane will miss out with a one-match suspension.
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