Birmingham boss Wayne Rooney was frustrated with the officials after his side’s 4-2 defeat against Rovers.

Sam Szmodics bagged a brace, with James Hilla and Harry Leonard also getting on the scoresheet as Jon Dahl Tomasson’s men made it back-to-back wins in the league.

Rooney highlighted an early challenge by Lewis Travis that went unpunished before he came off at the break.

“I think the officials need to protect (Siriki Dembele),” he said. “From the first minute, there were three or four tackles that were yellow cards.

“The lad (Travis) gets away with one because it is the first minute of the game and five minutes later, it’s a yellow card and he gets a second.”

Despite the result, Rooney felt there were plenty of positives to take from his side’s display at Ewood Park.

However, the former England international was left ruing what he described as “schoolboy defending” for some of Rovers’ goals.

“The goals were very poor from our point of view,” he continued. “I thought for large portions of the game, we were very good and caused Blackburn problems.

“But the goals are schoolboy and, of course, I take responsibility for that. As defenders, goalkeepers and midfielders, we need to get better because we can’t keep allowing teams to score against us like that.

“I thought first half, we really quietened their crowd and didn’t give them momentum. First five minutes of the second half, we did the opposite and it has cost us the game. It is hard to sit here and take the defat after such a positive performance.”

Rooney added: “First half, we pressed a little bit deeper than what we have been doing because Blackburn want to play in the middle of the pitch.

“We felt having bodies in there to win the ball and be aggressive, and then we could break from that.

“We did that really well first half and created some good chances. We have to be more clinical as well.”

The result leaves the Blues 16th in the table, having won just one of their seven games since Rooney replaced John Eustace in the dugout.