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Dan Clough column: Last day drama shows Rovers progress
WHO would have thought that on the final day of this season Rovers would still have something to play for?
Six weeks ago we were written off by many sections of our own support after a disappointing year.
But there is a chance that, heading into Saturday’s huge match against our neighbours from down the M6, we could still sneak into that final play-off spot.
Admittedly it is unlikely, especially if Wigan turn Birmingham over tonight.
But to be in with a shout on the last day shows how far this side has come this season.
There are still the nay-sayers among the Ewood faithful, and indeed the team has been booed off the pitch at least three times during this 11-match unbeaten run.
All we can do on Saturday is go for it. Gary Bowyer needs to set out an attacking side and go for goals.
On our travels we have been scoring for fun, with 19 in the last six. And with goal difference being our real enemy in an unlikely push for sixth spot, we need to bring those goals back to Ewood this weekend.
Wigan have stuttered of late and, fingers crossed, they will do so again tonight.
But even if they don’t, we need Rhodes and Rudy to be back on fire and to really go for it.
Bowyer, although some just can’t see it, has brought us on leaps and bounds this season.
We already have nine more points now than we did in the whole of the last campaign.
Last season, 70 points (assuming we get the three on Saturday) would have been enough for sixth spot as Leicester did it with 68.
But the latter stages of this run of 11 games has shown a real change in character of this team.
A few weeks ago, Charlton could well have pegged us back after scoring when it was 2-0, and the same could have happened at Birmingham, but we managed to score again to put ourselves out of sight.
That ability to see out a game had been sadly absent in the draws against Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton.
But perhaps that hoodoo has finally been put to one side and we may just be capable of finally capturing that elusive third consecutive win.
Whatever happens on Saturday, to go 12 games unbeaten would be a real achievement for a side that was still in turmoil last season.
And what a catalyst it would be to build on, whether that be for a full-on promotion push next term or for a play-off semi-final against Derby.
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