Steve Bruce admitted his Newcastle United side were fortunate to squeeze past Rovers and into the Carabao Cup third round.

Ryan Fraser’s goal just before half-time was the one quality move the hosts put together, with the winger putting his side ahead against the run of play in the 35th minute.

Rovers dominated the ball, and the chances, at St James’ Park but couldn’t find a way beyond Mark Gillespie on his Newcastle debut, his performances one of the plus points for Bruce. But Fraser’s goal was enough to set up a third round tie with Morecambe next week, though Bruce had some sympathy for opposite number Mowbray.

He said: “It’s fair to say, we’re not going to try to mask over it, I think we are fortunate to be in there.

“However, considering the problems with the team I put out with the lack of game-time and the two young ‘uns playing in the middle of the pitch, then it was always going to be a tricky tie.

“Blackburn are a very, very decent team. Tony always plays a certain way and I think he’ll count himself a bit unlucky.

“We aren’t going to say anything other than we were fortunate.

“I was wary people needed games, but thankfully we got away with it.”

A first appearance since March for Republic of Ireland defender Ciaran Clark was another positive for Bruce, who added: “Ciaran Clark coming back was a big thing and it was a big night for Mark Gillespie, he was probably our best.”

Scottish winger Fraser was making his first appearance since March, and his debut for Newcastle, against Rovers, and his big chance came when he was played in by Miguel Almiron.

Fraser tucked away the winner, before being replaced just before the hour, with Bruce happy to integrate him into the fold.

“Considering he hasn’t played since March, I thought his effort and his endeavour and his enthusiasm were there for everybody to see,” he said.

“It was a great finish, great run great ball from Miggy (Almiron) and as I said, it was that little bit of quality, the only real bit of quality, that we showed all night.

“But hey, that’s the cup, that’s the way it is, but certainly we’ll be a lot better for the game.”