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Eastwood is sure Rovers can see off Brum
10:14am Sunday 29th December 2013 in Sport
GOALKEEPER Simon Eastwood is predicting another tight and tense affair when Rovers entertain Birmingham City tomorrow.
The last eight matches at Ewood Park have featured just nine goals with more than half of that tally coming in the 3-2 win over Millwall two weeks ago.
Rovers boss Bowyer believes that has much to do with the spoiling tactics adopted by opposition teams wary of the threat posed by striker Jordan Rhodes.
Eastwood would not be surprised if in-form Birmingham, having kept three successive clean sheets on the road, also set out to frustrate tomorrow.
And that is why the current Rovers number one believes an early breakthrough will be vital.
“I think it is going to be another tight game as Birmingham are a good team,” said Eastwood.
“But hopefully we can get an early goal – that is the aim.
“Then we can build on that and hopefully keep another clean sheet.”
Eastwood has enjoyed three shut outs in four games since taking over from Jake Kean between the Rovers posts.
The summer signing from Portsmouth was excellent in the Boxing Day 0-0 home draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
But the modest 24-year-old said he was just doing his job.
“As a back four and myself it is something that we go out to do every game,” added Eastwood after the Owls stalemate.
“In the last four games we’ve had three clean sheets. That’s nice but I think the lads in there were just a bit disappointed that we couldn’t nick a goal.”
The draw with struggling Wednesday extend Rovers’ unbeaten home run to five matches.
But the overriding feeling after the game, both in the dressing room and in the stands, was of an opportunity missed as a third straight victory would have moved Gary Bowyer’s side within two points of the play-off places.
But Eastwood, who made two impressive first-half saves from Atdhe Nuhiu, believes there is no need to be too disappointed.
He said: “We knew Sheffield Wednesday would play quite a lot of long ball stuff, come and defend, put most of the team behind the ball and make it hard for us to break them down.
"We’re disappointed but we’ve drawn the game and kept another clean sheet, which is a real positive for us.
“So we’ve just try to build on that for Birmingham.”
With Nottingham Forest hosting Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion heading to Blackpool tomorrow, Rovers will definitely make up ground on at least two of their promotion rivals with a win over Birmingham.
“We’ve just got to keep putting points on the board and that is what we have done,” said Eastwood, part of the Rovers side that is now unbeaten in four Championship outings.
“It is a busy period that we are in, there are a lot of games coming up so that point (against Wednesday) might be good enough.”
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