OWEN Coyle paid tribute to players and supporters after Blackburn Rovers beat Rotherham United 4-2 at an exhilarated Ewood Park to record their first victory of the Championship campaign.

Goals from Craig Conway, home debutant Marvin Emnes, Ben Marshall and man-of-the-match Sam Gallagher ensured Rovers ended their wait for a league win at the eighth attempt for the second season running.

And while Coyle was unhappy with the defending for Danny Ward’s double he was thrilled by the way his side achieved their objective.

The Rovers boss, who labelled the match a ‘must win’ beforehand, said: “The most important thing was to win.

“Whatever way we did it, it was just important we got the three points, but what was so pleasing was the manner of the performance and how we won.

“We started the game brilliantly, we could have been two goals up, and from that we concede a counter-attack goal from two very good players. Izzy Brown is going to have a wonderful career and Danny Ward I know well because I sold him for £1m to Huddersfield Town when he was kid and when we were in the Premier League with Bolton Wanderers.

“It would have been easy for the lads to feel sorry for themselves but we continue to play the same way, whether we’re 1-0 up or 1-0 down, and that’s on the front foot and pass and move the ball. We scored a wonderful equaliser and then we just continued to get better.

“If there’s a source of frustration it’s that we allowed them to come into the game at 3-2 when it should have been beyond doubt at 4-1 or 5-1 with some of the fantastic chances we had.

“But even then at 3-2, it would have been easy to get nervous, but they picked themselves up and we scored a wonderful fourth goal. That’s what was pleasing, that they showed the courage of their convictions.

“It’s easy when you’re winning games to have team spirit, the true test is when you’re in difficult moments. Team spirit was there in abundance today and we know the longer we work together and the harder we work together the better we will be.”

Coyle, who took Gordon Greer off after he sustained a knock, added: “I thought the fans were magnificent.

“I spoke in the lead up to the game about how important the Blackburn Rovers fans are because when they are behind the team the players will really respond to it.

“It would have been easy at 3-2 for them to get a bit nervous but they roared the lads on and they played a huge part in us getting the fourth goal. I think they need to be applauded on that.

“They’ve worked hard all week, they’ve paid good money, and it was just nice to send them home with a smile on the face on the back of what I felt was an outstanding performance.”