BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer has called on his players to take ownership of the problem that is hampering their season.

Rovers have now conceded seven goals from set-pieces in 11 matches since the turn of the New Year.

Their weakness at defending dead balls cost them again in Saturday’s 1-1 derby draw with rock-bottom Blackpool at a frustrated Ewood Park.


Grant Hall headed in a free kick to earn the Seasiders only their sixth away point of the season and leave Rovers 12 points off the play-offs.

Bowyer insists that he and his coaching team will continue to try to address the issue on the training ground.

But, ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Norwich City, he admits it is up to the side he selects to take responsibility once they take to the field.

Bowyer said: “We’ve done a lot of work over the last couple of weeks on trying to eradicate it.

“It is actual player responsibility and taking ownership of it.

“All we can do is to keep working hard at it. It’s as simple as that.

“You do work on set-pieces all the time, from pre-season all the way through, as they are a big part of the game, especially in the Championship.”

Rovers wasted a string of second-half chances after Hall cancelled out Jordan Rhodes’ early opener.

Recalled right-back Alex Baptiste admits they have to start being ‘more ruthless in both boxes’ if they are to keep their hopes of a top-six spot alive.

Baptiste, who was beaten by Hall for the goal, said: “We are working hard and it just seems to be one of those things when sometimes you’re working, working and working and then lo and behold it’s a set-piece again, and you think, ‘God’.

“But we have to be more ruthless in both boxes, there’s no doubt about that.”

Rovers have drawn back-to-back league matches since sweeping aside Stoke City 4-1 to set-up a FA Cup quarter-final clash at their Premier League rivals Liverpool.

But Baptiste is adamant their focus remains on the Championship.

The former Blackpool defender said: “We’re definitely not concentrating on the FA Cup and you would have seen that by the way our manager reacted at half-time and full-time.

“We haven’t even talked about Liverpool since the draw was made. We all sat down and watched but that’s put to bed for now.”

Bowyer’s midfield injury concerns mounted on Saturday.

Corry Evans came off with a knock for the second game running while his half-time replacement Chris Taylor was withdrawn late on with a toe problem.

But Bowyer, who is already without Ben Marshall, David Dunn and Jason Lowe, confirmed his decision to take off top-scorer Rudy Gestede for Josh King midway through the second half was a tactical one.

Bowyer, whose side were chasing a fifth successive home victory, said: “We wanted to get some pace alongside Jordan and try a different option.”