BLACKBURN Rovers return to Championship action this week with boss Owen Coyle insistent they can turn their struggling season around by making Ewood Park a fortress.

Rovers entertain Ipswich Town on Saturday before hosting another out-of-form side in Nottingham Forest next Tuesday.

They will go into the double header on the back of two straight defeats which have left them stranded in the relegation places.

Coyle admits the losses to Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday made for an unsatisfactory end to the six-game spell going into the second international break of the campaign.

But he maintains performances have improved and he believes Rovers’ home run in the lead up to Christmas provides the opportunity to get up the table.

Coyle said: “We know we can turn it around. It’s frustrating but we have to pick ourselves up and get ready for a run of seven out of the next 11 games at home.

“We need to make Ewood a fortress, get everybody behind the players, and when they do that the players have shown they can respond to that and win games.

“We had a terrible start but since the last international break the six games we’ve played we’ve showed we are very much an improved team.

“Have we taken enough points? We’ve taken seven points from the six games so, no, we haven’t. We should have taken 10, 11 or 12 from those games.

“But we know that’s round the corner. We know it’s there for us. We’ve just got to pick ourselves up, stand up and be counted.

“Let’s see what you are, let’s see what’s in your locker, let’s see if you’ve got the heart for the fight. We certainly do as a staff and I’m pretty sure the players have as well.

“Five of the last seven games have been away from home and what we do now, when we come back, is we get ready to go again.

“We’ve got two home games straight away when we come back and we’ll look to take points from those games and start climbing that table.”

Rovers have won just nine of their last 28 home league matches over the past two seasons.

And captain Jason Lowe admits their form in front of their own supporters is going to be crucial.

“We’ve got to pick up points at home and if we do that any points on the road are a bonus,” said Lowe, who will be suspended for Saturday’s clash with Ipswich after picking up his fifth booking of the campaign.

“If we instil that, and try and make Ewood a fortress after the break, that’s what we’ll try to do.

“I don’t think you can question the heart and fight and I think we have shown in glimpses this season that, when it comes together, we’re as good a side to beat anybody.

“At the moment we’re just not having the rub of the green and when chances do go the opposition’s way they are capitalising.

“We need to cut out the silly little errors, which we can do, because they’re avoidable, concentrate for the 90 minutes, and we’ll pick up points, there’s no doubt about it.”