GARY Bowyer praised his players for the way they battled back to secure a point against Blackpool – and hopes Jordan Rhodes’ equaliser will signal a return to goalscoring form for the striker.

Rhodes’ 79th-minute leveller cancelled out Gary MacKenzie’s opener to earn Rovers a 1-1 draw at home to Blackpool in the first game of Bowyer’s second spell in caretaker charge.

Bowyer admitted afterwards he was disappointed not to claim victory, with Rovers now without a win in nine games, but was pleased that his squad at least responded to avoid a defeat that would have pushed them further into the relegation mire.

Rovers sit five points clear of the bottom three, with a number of sides in action this afternoon.

“I thought we started nervously, which is to be expected a little bit after what’s gone on at the football club,” Bowyer said of the Good Friday clash.

“The first half was a little bit even and in the second half we created two good chances.

“It was a bit of a sucker punch when they scored. I’ve seen it on the video and it was a foul on Jason Lowe.

“But full credit to the players for the way they responded. They could have felt sorry for themselves but they didn’t.

“Jake (Kean) made a great save at the end but we had more shots than Blackpool so we’re a little bit disappointed not to win the game.

“It’s about collecting points at this stage of the season though and we managed to do that, albeit only the one.

“All we can do is go game by game and if the players show the same application, desire and work rate that they showed today, that’s all we can ask for.”

Rhodes is comfortably Rovers’ top scorer this season with 22 goals but his 79th-minute leveller in the 1-1 home draw with Paul Ince’s Blackpool was only his second strike in 11 matches.

But Bowyer hopes Rhodes will now be back among the goals on a regular basis – and that others will chip in too.

“We’re fortunate to have Jordan who has scored as many goals as he has this season,” he said.

“That’s why the club paid a lot of money for him, he did it at Huddersfield and when the ball fell to him you knew it was going to go in.

“Scott Dann and Grant Hanley have contributed goals, we’ve got Kaz (Colin Kazim-Richards) back and he’s a goal threat, and Besty (Leon Best) is yet to open his account.

“Hopefully we can get that up and running soon.

“We’ve got a lot of firepower in the team so we’re confident going into games now. Hopefully the rub of the green goes for us and we can win some games.”