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Home wins key for Blackburn Rovers midfielder Williamson
BLACKBURN Rovers midfielder Lee Williamson has called on his team-mates to take maximum points from their final three home games of the year.
Rovers welcome Millwall to Ewood Park today before entertaining Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day and Birmingham City three days later.
Millwall, Wednesday and Birmingham are all below Gary Bowyer’s side in the current Championship standings.
And Williamson, who reckons the play-offs should be Rovers’ minimum aim for the season, believes nine points from nine is a realistic target going into 2014.
“It’s a very important time,” said the 31-year-old, who was outstanding in last Saturday’s 0-0 draw at QPR.
“Both home and away we have to put a run together to get us up the league.
“It’s a good time for us as we have three games at home. We want to take maximum points and see where it leaves us.”
Rovers go into today’s game with Millwall seven points behind the top six.
Williamson knows inconsistency is the major reason why the gap is not shorter.
“Frustrating is probably the word,” said Williamson.
“It’s consistency. One week we can be really good and look like a team that’s going to get automatic promotion and the next game we look like a team that is struggling.
“I think if we can hold ourselves together and be consistent, which is going to be the key, I think we’re going to be up there.
“I think as a minimum we want to be in the play-offs and I think we can achieve that if we go to places like QPR and get points.”
Rovers earned a deserved share of the spoils at Loftus Road as they became only the second side this season to take points off QPR in front of their own fans.
The draw came four days after Rovers went down to a desperately disappointing defeat at Ipswich Town.
Boss Bowyer tore into his players after the 3-1 loss and Williamson admitted his criticism was still ringing in their ears when they took to the field against Harry Redknapp’s title favourites.
He added: “We showed what we can do. We came to one of the best teams in the league and got a point.
“It was a pretty open game. We were the better team in the first half and they probably had the better in the second half.
“But we kept a clean sheet, our first away one this season, and it was well deserved as the boys put a shift in.
“It was a very satisfying result. If you look at their squad and the players they’ve got – and I’m not taking anything away from our squad – but they could change their whole team and they’d still have a good team out there.
“So we were happy. We stuck to the game plan and it worked.”
Williamson reckons the performance against QPR has set the benchmark for the campaign.
“We’ve raised the bar now,” said Williamson, who hailed goalkeeper Simon Eastwood as ‘outstanding’ on his Championship debut.
“We can’t let our standards drop. That is the standard we’ve got to achieve week in and week out.”
Another impressive performer against the Hoops was Adam Henley.
Henley is set to keep his place at right-back against Millwall today despite the return of Todd Kane – a previous ever present – from suspension.
But Bowyer can see a time this season when both Henley and Kane play together.
He said: “That’s the beauty of them – you could have them both bombing down the right while they also have the versatility to play in different positions.”
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