Tony Mowbray felt his players ‘needed support not anxiety’ from the stands as they edged to victory over bottom of the table Barnsley.

Bradley Dack struck with four minutes to go to hand Rovers a second win in nine games on a dramatic afternoon at Ewood.

Barnsley twice pegged Rovers back after Dack opened the scoring and Stewart Downing came off the bench to score his first league goal for the club.

There was clear frustration from the stands as Rovers toiled against a Barnsley side without a win since the opening day.

And while the boss understood where it came from, he said: “In my three years I’ve never questioned the players’ desire, their workrate, their effort.

“I felt, as a manager you shouldn’t criticise fans, but I felt the team needed support not anxiety.

“I built the expectation this year that I wanted to get to the top six and push on.

“The fact we’re falling short, maybe that’s where it came from. They deserve support, I think they’re giving everything they’ve got every week.

“There’s a lot of young footballers in there who all want to be in the Premier League one day.

“I think they all deserve support and thankfully we won.

“I know there’s a lot of people who support Blackburn Rovers through thick and thin.

“Maybe it was a bit of frustration from the terraces.”

Asked if he felt a second successive victory on home soil would lift some of the anxiety, he added: “I doubt it.

“We have another game on Wednesday night and have to beat Brentford. That’s football, we keep going. It’s a relentless season.”

Mowbray says the main pressure is from within, as he looks to turn around a run of form that had seen Rovers take just five points from the 24 available prior to the Barnsley win.

He passed 1,000 days in the job last week and will mark three years in charge in February.

That brings with it an added pressure, with Mowbray the second-longest serving manager in the division, but he says he ‘doesn’t need to get booed out’ of the job.

“Ultimately, from where we are at the moment, I feel that we have to win matches because I can feel the anxiety and the disenchantment within the crowd, whether it’s aimed at me or the players on the pitch.

“It’s a cycle for football. I’ve been here for nearly three years, it’s a cycle that I’ve been a part of, where it seems as if every team selection and substitution is wrong unless you win, and that’s what we’ve got to do and have been trying to do.

“My experience tells me that you can’t get through that footballing cycle unless you win games.

“Otherwise it’s going to be my fault every time we lose a game, I think. I don’t want to be a burden on this football club.

“I came here to Blackburn Rovers, because I love football, and this is a historic club and I won’t be a burden on the club.

“If it isn’t going well, I don’t need to get booed out, I’m a proud working-class man from the north-east and I’ve put a lot into the job.

“I’ve talked a lot about family and living away from them and what you give to a team by doing that and I think that’s why I still see a team that are still fighting until the final whistle, because they know that their gaffer is giving them everything he’s got.”