BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer has challenged Josh King to replicate the complete performance he produced to tear the Birmingham City defence to shreds.
The recalled winger wreaked havoc at St Andrew’s on Monday as Rovers romped to a 4-2 victory which stretched their unbeaten Championship run to 10 games.
King’s searing pace sent Blues’ backline into a panic every time he got the ball out of his feet.
But it was his end product which most impressed his manager and the travelling supporters alike.
The Norwegian flyer set up Rudy Gestede for the first of the three headers the big striker scored before the break while he also had a hand in Todd Kane’s killer third goal.
And King, who was making his first start since the 3-2 home win over Millwall on December, also showed composure to play the ball across goal for a chance that hat-trick hero Gestede will still be scratching his head as to how he missed.
Bowyer said: “Kingy has waited his turn and he’s got an opportunity now.
“His pace has always been a threat and he had an end product as well.
“That’s what he’s got to keep striving to have.”
King was one of four enforced changes, along with Kane, Markus Olsson and Corry Evans, after Michael Keane, Lee Williamson and Tom Cairney failed late fitness tests and after Tommy Spurr had been ruled out before Rovers made the trip to the Midlands.
Bowyer said: “We left it as late as we possibly could to give them every opportunity but all three of them failed fitness tests and then we lost David Dunn as well.
“It was not great news but the response of the ones who came in was great.
“Todd and Josh were terrific, they went about their business excellently, as did Markus Olsson and Corry Evans.”
But Bowyer was not happy with the way his side, who threw away a two-goal lead away in drawing 3-3 at Sheffield Wednesday earlier this month, allowed Birmingham to add a touch of respectability to the final scoreline after the break.
He said: “I have to say I was disappointed with the manner of the two goals we conceded.
“But I think I did say the other week that we have to score four to win away.”