Tony Mowbray highlighted a lack of fight from his side in a miserable first half in defeat to Birmingham City.

Maxime Colin headed in the only goal of the game in the first half to inflict a third defeat in five matches on Rovers who have taken just two points from the last 15 available.

Rovers showed more promise after the break, but struggled to test Birmingham ‘keeper Lee Camp as they rarely threatened an equaliser.

But it was the first half display that angered Mowbray who felt his side lacked the appetite for the fight against a Birmingham side who had lost four of their previous five matches.

“A very disappointing night. That first half I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that for two-and-a-half years from a team that I’ve put out on the pitch for Blackburn Rovers,” Mowbray said.

“It was hugely disappointing, I’m not sure where it came from and didn’t see it coming.

“We probably improved after half-time but ultimately not enough and got nothing from the game that we probably deserved nothing from.

“There was a lack of fight in the first half and that’s not something I’ve been able to label at this team for a long, long time. That has to change very quickly.

“There was a lack of recognition in what type of game it was first half. The team needed shaking up and I thought we did that second half, we were more recognisable.”

Mowbray opted not to make any changes at the break, not turning to his bench until just after the hour mark, and that brought about their best spell in which Danny Graham and Stewart Downing both went close.

He added: “Whatever was said at half time was said, I thought the team improved in the second half but ultimately we have to work their goalkeeper more.

“We had a few opportunities, Downing flashed a shot past the post, Graham did, Bennett had a shot deflected that the keeper tipped over, we looked more like a team trying to score a goal and win a football match second half.

“That was sadly lacking in the first half.”

Rovers gifted the ball to the hosts countless times in the first half, but it was the attitude and application from his side that was of biggest concern to Mowbray.

He said: “I don’t think it was about ball retention to be honest. I don’t think either team were good with the ball to be honest.

“I’m not interested in that. When you come to a place like Birmingham you have to stand up, roll your sleeves up and show a bit of passion and emotion and that’s something we were short of, never mind how good or bad we were with the ball.

“I don’t think that’s been a problem for us. But I’m not interested in ball possession, you have to find a way of scoring goals and we fell short.

“It was a frustrating night, we never really got going.

“We need to show more than we did in the first half.”