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Paul Wheelock Column: Boss Bowyer needs an injury break
BLACKBURN Rovers just cannot catch a break with injuries.
It is not just their severity but the timing of them too.
First DJ Campbell, David Dunn and Ruben Rochina and now Corry Evans – this season is being characterised by the loss of key men for long periods at the most inopportune moments.
Take a look back. Campbell was in the goals in pre-season before he was ruled out for three months with ankle-ligament damage.
The misfortune continued on the opening day of the campaign when Rochina – enjoying one of his best displays in a Rovers shirt – dislocated his shoulder.
Don’t expect to see him back until December at the earliest.
His absence was keenly felt until Dunn marked his return to action with two excellent performances and that wonderful goal against Bolton.
Even without two of their chief creative forces Rovers went on to produce some of their best performances of the season.
Central to the impressive wins over Bournemouth and Watford was Evans.
What a hammer blow it was then to discover that the box-to-box midfielder is unlikely to play again before the year is out.
Gary Bowyer must be wondering when his luck is going to turn.
While it was a welcome sight to see Campbell step off the bench against Charlton on Saturday, what Bowyer would have done to have Evans, Dunn and Rochina out there.
Dunn and Rochina for their ability to do the unexpected and unlock a defence as well-drilled as the Addicks’ was – and Evans for his sheer desire and energy.
The summer signing from Hull had started to set the tempo for Rovers – a tempo that was sadly lacking against an organised if unspectacular Charlton side that had yet to win on the road before they arrived at Ewood Park.
Maybe the fans and press alike were wrong to anticipate a comfortable home win. While it’s a line trotted out by every Championship manager, the cliché is true – there are no easy games in this, the most unpredictable of divisions.
But ultimately Rovers could only have themselves to blame.
They gifted the Addicks their winning goal and for all the endeavour they showed, they could be playing now and still wouldn’t have scored.
Bowyer after the match pointed to the fact that Simon Church’s decisive strike should have been ruled out for handball.
Replays proved he may well have had a case.
But if he was looking for another reason for the result, he could so easily have pointed to the men he did not have at his disposal.
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