Stoke City should have had more to show for their dominance before Rovers’ late rally, according to boss Michael O’Neill.

The Potters led at the break courtesy of a Nick Powell header, with the attacker also denied by a fine Thomas Kaminski save, with Jordan Thompson seeing an effort come back off the post in a dominant end to the first half for the hosts.

It looked to be a carbon copy of the game at the bet365 Stadium just a month ago with a Powell goal giving the Potters victory, only for Rovers to come up with an equaliser courtesy of a close-range John Buckley finish.

Stoke ended the game with 10 men as captain James Chester saw red for bringing down Adam Armstrong, with O’Neill admitting it would have been a travesty for his side not to have taken anything from it.

He said: "I felt first half we were excellent and should have been more than one ahead.

"A combination of good goalkeeping and we hit the post as well, a fantastic effort from Jordan Thompson, and our final ball as well. The pitch was difficult but I thought we were very comfortable.

"But you know that Blackburn are going to have some portion of the game and they did. The goal and the red card came very quickly together so in the end we had to dig deep to hang on.

"We showed good character to make sure we took something after being so dominant for a good period. It would have been very harsh if we hadn't taken anything."

O’Neill withdrew Joe Allen in the second half as he continues his comeback from injury, stating: ‘the pitch was fundamental in that’.

He also felt that was a reason why new loan signing Rabi Matondo struggled to get into the game, but was pleased with the impact of his left-hand side in the first half.

“I thought some of play particularly in the first half between Norrington-Davies, Thompson and Powell was excellent.” O’Neill said.

"It was a little bit difficult for Matondo on the other side because the pitch made it very difficult to run with ball. And if you don't get the second goal, the opposition - particularly when they throw everything forward as Blackburn did, they made a lot of changes and had bodies high - we came under a bit of pressure.

"There are a lot of things we are pleased with in the level of performance."

Chester will be missing for the midweek game at Rotherham United after being shown a straight red card following a foul on Adam Armstrong as the Rovers attacker looked to get onto a loose ball.

Asked for his verdict, O’Neill said: "I thought they arrived at the same time to be honest.

“It wasn't like Armstrong was already away from him, I thought they came together at the same time. I felt it was a little bit harsh, the ref felt that he hadn't got any of the ball, but I haven't had chance to see it back."