DEFENDER Tommy Spurr believes Blackburn Rovers are now very much in the race for the play-offs after their ‘massive’ victory at top-six rivals Reading on Saturday.

The hugely impressive 1-0 win moved Gary Bowyer’s in-form side up to ninth and within four points of the sixth-placed Royals who have played a game more.

Despite Rovers boss Bowyer’s attempts to play down the significance of the crucial clash Spurr revealed he and his team-mates accepted that it was a match they could not afford to lose if they wanted to remain in the promotion picture.

The excellent left-back said: “It was a massive, massive result as if we would have got beat they would have been 10 points in front of us.

“We would still have had the game in hand but it would have been a lot for us to do so to get the three points and close the gap was great.

“There are 15 games left and they will all mean something but with Reading occupying sixth spot, we knew there was massive significance on this one. Everyone was aware of that.

“We spoke about it among the lads although the manager probably didn’t want us to say that.

“But we knew it between ourselves so I think given the context, it’s our best win of the season.

“I saw it myself as a must-win game so it’s a massive positive to come here and get the result and close the gap on sixth.”

Spurr was particularly pleased that Rovers were able to snuff out a free-scoring Reading side who had netted 18 times in their previous six matches.

The clean sheet was robust Rovers’ third on the run and their 12th of the season, a figure that is bettered only by QPR and Brighton & Hove Albion with 14 each.

Spurr said: “I thought we showed great resilience and character when the times they had pressure.

“But although they had pressure they never really looked like scoring and carving us open.

“That’s a massive positive and I think it’s credit to everyone in the team.

“Everyone played their part in defending, not just the defenders.”

The only negative for Rovers, who are now unbeaten in five games, was the ankle injury sustained by Tom Cairney.

Although the midfielder attempted to play on after picking up the knock he was forced off and left the Madejski Stadium with a protective cast on his ankle.

Cairney will have a scan today to discover if he has a chance of being fit to face Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday.

Rovers boss Bowyer said: “Hopefully it won’t be too bad.”