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Dan Clough column: Building from back will benefit Rovers
SCOTT Dann has long been forgotten as Rovers’ mean defence kept another clean sheet without our former captain at one of the league’s toughest grounds.
Middlesbrough have lost just two at home all season so for Rovers to come away with a point and an 11th clean sheet is more than commendable.
And, with results going our way in the league, it reduced the gap between us and the play-offs to just four points.
The sale of Scott Dann may have been questioned by some, but it was undoubtedly the correct decision from the Rovers management.
The reduction in the wage bill eases the financial pressure, while captain Grant Hanley and new defensive partner Matt Kilgallon have kept consecutive clean sheets.
It has to be said, though, that the return of Paul Robinson between the sticks has been a breath of fresh air.
On Saturday he made a string of fine saves to keep us in the game.
His presence in goal is almost tangible and, with the veteran behind them, defenders grow in confidence.
During the Premier League glory years, Rovers’ success was built around a solid defensive foundation, certainly during the period following our second promotion in 2001.
Mark Hughes brought in Ryan Nelsen and Chris Samba who provided the backbone of a successful side with a heart of steel.
We became known as bully boys and we thrived on it.
Since the Venky’s era began and Sam Allardyce was deposed, our defensive strength deteriorated and we became far more porous.
But Gary Bowyer has certainly addressed that and has successfully started to toughen us up.
Meanwhile, Rovers managing director Derek Shaw has backed the Football League’s push for standing areas to be reintroduced at football grounds.
I do enjoy standing up at football, and no doubt when we take on Burnley next month it will be 90 minutes of standing (and possibly some shouting).
I understand the concerns of campaigners, particularly those connected to Hillsborough, who are vehemently opposed to the return of standing at football.
But I think lessons have been learned from that day.
And surely if German giants like Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund can manage with ‘rail seats’, which can be locked away to create a standing area, then clubs over here can cope.