John Eustace heaped praise on the attitude and performances of Sam Gallagher and Joe Rankin-Costello after their contributions to Blackburn Rovers.

Both players were integral in the 5-1 win over Sunderland on Easter Monday after recently returning to the team. Rankin-Costello was thrown in at the deep end after six weeks out against Ipswich Town and then started 72 hours later in the North East.

Gallagher missed out on Friday due to illness but made himself available to face the Black Cats. He led the line expertly and set up Ryan Hedges' crucial third goal with a driving run.

Rankin-Costello was immense behind him, covering every blade of grass in midfield to show his value to the team now he's fit again.

VERDICT: Eustace's messages vindicated by Rovers rout

Both players earned praise from Eustace, who was delighted with their application.

"I've been impressed with Sam since I came to the football club. He's been playing through different injuries," Eustace said.

"He had an injury before I came in and we've tried to get him up to speed. His level of commitment to this football club is fantastic.

"He was gutted not to play on Friday, he really was. I spoke to him on Saturday, he was still struggling but he said 'I can't wait to get out there with the boys on Monday'. 

"His performance was outstanding as was everyone else who was involved."

"Joe is a fantastic player. He hasn't played enough games this year," he added on Rankin-Costello.

"He came in on Friday and did well, we managed to get him off after 60 minutes.

"You saw his influence today, he set up a goal and dominated in midfield with Sonny (Tronstad) who went about his business quietly but very effectively which is what they do. I was very happy with them both in there."

The win gives Rovers a five-point cushion in the relegation zone, lifting them up to 17th from 19th. What is more important is the morale boost this victory will provide the fans, players and staff.

Eustace insists the group is confident and knows that their improved performances would produce results. He also praised the travelling fans, who made their voices heard.

"I hope so (it gives confidence) but the group is confident, we are confident," he told The Lancashire Telegraph.

"We played very, very well against Ipswich on Friday and maybe should have won the game.

"You can see confidence is there in the group, it's a competitive group and we're looking forward to the last six games.

"There are six games to go. Nothing is decided now, there are another 18 points to play for. We have to keep being competitive, working hard and keep believing, sticking together.

"The 1,200 fans that made the trip up North today were outstanding, they sang their hearts out for the boys. Even with 40,000 Sunderland fans, they were excellent. It's a great day for the football club."