Rovers were booed off after what Graeme Souness described as a ‘nervous’ performance in their 2-1 home defeat to Portsmouth, on this day in 2004.

It was a ninth home defeat of the season for Rovers, who went a seventh game without a win at Ewood, against fellow strugglers Pompey to be sucked back in to the relegation mix.

The defeat came on the back of stories in the national press of a training ground bust-up between striker Dwight Yorke and manager Souness, although those were played down by defender Michael Gray ahead of kick-off.

The full back said reports had been blown out of all proportion after appearing on the back pages of the tabloid newspapers, with Gray saying: "maybe that's brought us closer together.

"Words were exchanged but it was over with in five seconds and what then appeared in the papers was ridiculous, really.

"It was just one of those things that happens every day. It meant nothing to the players.

"We had a giggle about it later but apart from that nothing else was said about it.”

Gray said Souness maintained the faith of the dressing room despite being in relegation danger, but defeat to Pompey meant it was very much ‘game-on’ in their bid to avoid the drop, according to the Rovers boss.

Souness said he could understand why supporters booed his players off the pitch following a desperate display, admitting: "We've not treated the fans to any entertainment this year. It was a big day for them and a big day for the team and we let them down.

"We went into the game with great expectations because of the way we played last week (a 2-0 win at Aston Villa) but we didn't live up to that and we didn't play at all.”

Portsmouth arrived at Ewood with the worst away record in the country, having failed to win any of their previous 15 games on the road.

But Teddy Sheringham's 17th minute free kick and a late winner from Aiyegbeni Yakubu soon changed all that as Pompey closed the gap on Rovers, who had equalised through a deflected Tugay strike, to just one point at the bottom end of the table.

"We looked nervous which is understandable but not acceptable," said Souness.

"If you're nervous and you start to think about things then your passing won't be on and you won't get tackles in because of the pace of today's game.

"Portsmouth came with a game-plan to sit in and defend and try to nick it and that's exactly what happened.

"That's happened to us time and time again this season and it's very frustrating for everyone involved.

"I'd like to see the free kick again because I don't think the wall was solid enough and when they scored that gave them a great lift and a bit of belief.

"We really weren't creative enough and we didn't cause them that many problems. "They had four centre halves sitting in their back four and they defended everything that came into their box really well.

"It's very disappointing because that was an opportunity for us to put some distance between ourselves and them and we've blown it.

"Now it's very much game on at the bottom of the league.

"I don't know what's going to be enough. We just have to make sure we get them.”

Rovers: Friedel, Neill, Todd, Short, Gray (Gallagher 83), Emerton, Flitcroft, Tugay, Andresen (Yorke 71), Cole, Stead (Reid 78)

Not used: Amoruso, Enckelman