John Eustace is under no illusions that Blackburn Rovers can improve their attacking play but put their sloppiness at Cardiff down to the relentless schedule.

Rovers played out a nil-nil draw in South Wales on Tuesday night, their first goalless affair since April 2023. It was a very drab game, with chances at a premium for both teams.

Eustace’s side created very little but did improve in the second half. Tyrhys Dolan had the away side’s only major chance but he was denied by Ethan Horvath.

It was a tough watch, which the head coach did not try to dress up. He knows Rovers can do far more on the ball and put the quality of the contest down to fatigue after a fourth game in 10 days.

“It’s about work on the training field and we can’t do that at the moment,” Eustace explained.

“So, we have to be difficult to play against. The clean sheet was a massive plus, there’s a lot more with the ball that we can work on.

“The most important thing at the moment is to keep picking up points. We have to remember this tough away trip to Cardiff was on the back of a big, big away game on Saturday, a local derby and with lots riding on it.

“The efforts the lads put in was immense. I’ll forgive them a bit for their sloppiness with the ball, especially in the first half.

He added: “It’s been difficult but the attitude of the group we have in there has been fantastic.

“They’re a great group of players to work with, they all want to learn and listen. It’s been a massive group effort. The fans travelling from Blackburn to support us, what a fantastic effort, I am glad we were able to give them a point.

“The work rates the staff have put in behind the scenes in the last four or five games. It’s amazing really considering the number of away games we’ve had. We’ve had no time off to prepare, it’s been a group effort to secure the last few results.

“The last two games, we have to remember we had a massive game on Saturday against Preston. We travelled five hours to Cardiff and it takes a lot out of the boys, a hell of a lot out of them.

“I thought the starters battled away for an hour and it was important to then make positive changes in the second half. It’s about managing the group as a squad and we’ve got another big game against Norwich on Saturday.

“It’ll be great to be back at Ewood Park, something we’re all looking forward to.”

Eustace used his squad at Cardiff, making three changes and rotating his players. Yasin Ayari was handed his full debut whilst John Buckley also returned for his first minutes in a Rovers shirt since August.

The midfielder made a noticeable difference after arriving from the bench. It coincided with Rovers’ best period of possession play and Buckley has done himself no harm in his hopes to start against Norwich City.

“He did make an impact, he was very composed when he came on,” Eustace said on Buckley.

“He’s a top footballer, he can make the team tick. I have been a big admirer of him for a number of years.

“Ty (Dolan) came on and made a big impact as well, Andy Moran too. It’s about the squad and I was delighted with everyone’s efforts.

“We made positive changes and I felt we controlled the ball better in the second half. Both teams were very loose on the ball, there wasn’t a lot of quality.

“The schedule is tough for everyone and we have to use the squad. We brought in a couple of players for their first starts under me. I was very pleased with the effort.”