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Bowyer: Late Wigan Athletic loss was my lowest moment
BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer admitted he has never felt lower after seeing his battling side go down to an agonising last-gasp defeat at Wigan Athletic.
Rovers had to play more than two thirds of yesterday’s match with 10 men after stand-in skipper Grant Hanley was sent off for an off-the-ball incident.
But they looked to be heading for a draw until Latics substitute Emmerson Boyce headed home in injury time to earn his team a 2-1 victory.
Bowyer said: “That is the worst I’ve felt following a defeat because of the character, spirit, endeavour and desire shown by the boys.
“I’ll wake up tomorrow and those things I’ve just mentioned will turn into positives and give us the confidence to be very competitive in this league.
“That has been questioned about this football club for a long time now but today the lads have answered that question.”
Hanley – captain in the absence of injured skipper Scott Dann – was red carded in the 31st minute after he appeared to lash out at Wigan striker Nick Powell.
Bowyer said: “I’ve not had a chance to look at it thoroughly.
“I have to be honest, at the time I didn’t know why, so when Grant came off I asked him why.
“We’ll have a look at it tomorrow.”
Rovers were leading at the time of Hanley’s dismissal thanks to Tommy Spurr’s first goal for the club.
Bowyer had no doubt the sending off changed the course of the match.
He said: “We started very well, we got the goal and we were in control of the game and looking comfortable.
“The decision changed the course of the game but after that decision I’ve got nothing but praise for my players.
“If anybody questioned their spirit and attitude, today showed they have got them both in abundance.”
Bowyer also felt Rovers should have had a penalty, before Grant Holt equalised in the 69th minute, after a Jordan Rhodes shot in the box seemed to hit the hand of Latics defender.
He said: “The lad’s hands were up near his face and the new rules state it was a penalty.
“It wasn’t to be for us today and I don’t think we got the rub of the green with a few decisions.”
Bowyer picked out makeshift centre back Jason Lowe for particular praise.
Lowe dropped back from midfield to partner impressive full debutant Matt Kilgallon in the heart of the Rovers defence after Hanley was given his marching orders.
Bowyer said: “I thought Lowey was magnificent, absolutely magnificent.
“I feel for him and the rest of the boys for how much they put into it.”
The defeat ended Rovers’ three-match unbeaten run and means they remain ninth in the Championship, five points behind the play-offs.
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