Alex Neil had no issues with the red card shown to defender Joe Rafferty – but said how it came about was because of their own doing.

Sam Gallagher had the beating of full back Rafferty who pulled him to the floor late in the first half, with Adam Armstrong opening the scoring from the spot.

Rafferty was shown a red card, as Rovers turned defence into attack in a matter of seconds after a rare moment of joy for the hosts.

That left North End playing the second half with a man light, Rovers making their advantage count as Ben Brereton doubled the lead in the 52nd minute, with Tyrhys Dolan adding the finishing touch in the closing stages.

Rovers had dominated the opening stages, enjoying 75  per cent of possession throughout.

Neil said of the sending off: “I don’t want to talk about the red card as if it’s unfortunate or not our fault.

“We don’t defend the ball into a player at the halfway line and then wait till he gets into the box then to bring him down and get a man sent off.

“For all their possession, I think their best chance was with Armstrong with a bit of individual play, we get a block in and then arguably we’ve the best chance of the half, right prior to the sending off.

“We don’t do well enough with the chance, within three passes, their player just basically runs past us at the halfway line and we get a man sent off. At that point it becomes extremely difficult, particularly with our shortage of full backs as it currently stands.”

Preston didn’t manage a shot on target, or a corner, across the 90 minutes, but Neil didn’t feel he had the personnel to try and dominate the ball, as Rovers did.

“In the first half, because of the set-up at the moment, we don’t really have the personnel to be building out from the back,” he continued.

“We tried to put it forward, we don’t keep it alive enough at the top end of the pitch in the first half, which makes it difficult for our midfield to pick up any scraps in the middle.

“We knew Blackburn were going to have the ball, I think they’ve got the second highest possession in the league currently, and we knew that that wasn’t going to happen.

“The simple fact is when we go down to 10 men, that game plan is absolutely gone at that point, and the best we could hope for is to get to the last 15 minutes with 1-0 and then we can maybe have a rally and go to try to get something out of the game.

“If you go too early against a team that moves the ball well, it's going to be a problem.”