Graeme Jones felt a strong defensive display was key to his side's win at Rovers as he heaped praise on matchwinner Matty Pearson.

Pearson, who spent 10 years at Rovers coming through the Academy ranks, headed home the winner just before the hour mark, after Lewis Travis equalised after James Collins' opener.

It needed excellent performances from Pearson and defensive partner Sonny Bradley to keep Rovers at bay as they poured forward in search of an equaliser.

And Jones said: “We had to defend our way to victory, we didn’t attack our way to victory, we defended our way and the character of the boys, the understanding of the boys was excellent.

“Irrespective of the result, we needed to be competitive again.

“I asked for the same mental and physical consistency during the game, no matter what the scoreline is and I told them if we get that we’ll win the game.

“We played in a different way, we used bits of the Leicester game to help us and we showed great character and came out 2-1 winners.”

Pearson was making his first return since leaving Rovers in 2012 and Jones said it was fitting he scored the winner.

He added: “Another wonderful character at the club, and one we need to be proud of. I’ve thrown different challenges at Matty and Sonny all season and they’ve responded.

“Matty has got such a character. Nothing is too big for him. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but he’s ready to have a go again. That’s all you want from your players.

“I’m really satisfied for him. I’m sure it’s a wonderful feeling scoring the winning goal at Blackburn Rovers. He deserves it and you get rewarded in the end."

Jones sent on a third central defender, to try and contain the threat of Danny Graham, and admits they had to weather an early storm. But the Hatters boss always felt set pieces could play a key role, adding: “If you watch Blackburn for the first 20 minutes, you felt their quality.

“I didn’t want to come into the game and start being negative, I knew we had to be absolutely at our best.

“I knew set-pieces would be important in order for us to win here, they are a really, really strong Championship side, so for us to come here and do what we did was really, really satisfying.”