BLACKBURN Rovers may have seen their unbeaten start to 2014 come to an unceremonious end.
But Gary Bowyer is adamant his young team’s play-off push will not be affected by their 5-0 FA Cup defeat at Manchester City on Wednesday.
Instead he believes the experience of taking on a City side, who have now scored an incredible 99 goals in all competitions this season, will leave them even more determined to win promotion back to the Premier League – starting at Nottingham Forest tomorrow.
Rovers boss Bowyer said: “All it will do is give us confidence and belief because for some stages of the game we did very well and created some good chances.
“We will go into Saturday’s game with confidence as what the City match has also done is motivate and inspire the lads even more.
“They enjoyed playing against City and playing in that arena – and that’s why it was always a positive game for us.”
Out of both domestic cup competitions Rovers’ sole focus now turns to the Championship.
They resume their league programme tomorrow at a Forest side who are on an eight-game unbeaten run.
Rovers, however, will head to the City Ground in even better form.
In the last six matches only table-topping Leicester City (16) and Wigan Athletic (14) – resurgent under new manager Uwe Rosler – have taken more points than Rovers (13), who are chasing three successive league wins in a single season for the first time in six years.
That said, Bowyer, accepts that a draw tomorrow at the club where he spent five years as a player and where his father Ian won two European Cups would be a good result.
“We go there with a clean sheet and if we come away with a clean sheet we’ll be delighted,” said Bowyer, who still counts himself a Forest fan.
“It’s a very difficult place to go with the resources they’ve got and what they’ve spent so far.
“But we go into the game full of confidence on the back of two away wins.”
Should eighth-placed Rovers build on their victories at Yeovil and Leeds they would move within one point of Forest, one of the favourites for automatic promotion.
Bowyer said: “They are in a similar sort of position to us in that they will feel they should be higher up the league than they are.
“The fans’ expectancy there is automatic promotion given the size of the club and the resources that they’ve got.”
Rovers will be roared on by more than 1,000 supporters tomorrow after taking 4,369 to City in midweek.
Of the fans, Bowyer added: “The amount that stayed behind to clap us off the pitch was magnificent and I thought it was important that we all went over there to show our appreciation.
“We’re going to need their backing again against Forest.”