John Eustace played an important role in Blackburn Rovers' set-up against Stoke City as they ended an eight-match winning run by beating Stoke City.

Rovers beat the Potters 3-1 at Ewood Park thanks to goals from Tyrhys Dolan (2) and Sam Szmodics. They had a three-goal cushion by 40 minutes and then dug in during the second half to grind out the win.

The team played far more direct, moving the ball from back to front quicker, with an emphasis on hurting Stoke on the counter-attack. It worked to great effect, particularly in that opening 45 minutes.

After watching from the stands in the first half, Eustace then appeared on the touchline in the second and took over in the technical area.

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First-team Damien Johnson, who was officially in charge alongside David Lowe, explained how involved the new head coach had been.

"He's been here all day, we had three or four hours with him yesterday and he did have a big influence on today," Johnson said.

"I'm really pleased for him, he's a great guy and I'm very happy to be working with him.

"The tactics, we knew we'd find space on transition. There was an element of allowing Stoke to come on to us. 

"At times, we could have looked after the ball better but when you've been on a run of results like we have, the most important thing is three points.

"Especially against a side around us like Stoke are, we know they're a good side."

Rovers' win gives them a seven-point cushion on the bottom three and lifts them up a place to 17th. With a crucial match at Birmingham City on Tuesday, it's the perfect platform to build on.

"It feels good, it's been a difficult few days so credit to the players," Johnson said.

"It's not easy for them but I thought they were outstanding. Their concentration and how they went about it. 

"They showed willingness and resilience at the end, great credit to them. They did lots of good things, we showed two sides of our game.

"Good starts, we always talk about it but you don't always get it. It's important when you have good moments to capitalise on it.

"It gives everyone a lift, especially when you haven't been winning games. Confidence might be lower. It took the wind out of their sails and we couldn't have asked for a better start.

"If the penalty goes in, it would've given them huge momentum. I was slightly disappointed with how we started the second half but great credit to Aynsley and all the players.

"We did lots of good things in the first half and then we dug in, showed the other side, seeing out the game. Stuff we have spoken about being better at.

"We needed the fans and they got right behind us. Three points was the most important thing. I thought everyone to a man was excellent."