TONY Mowbray says there can be no excuses from Rovers ahead of this afternoon’s crunch promotion clash with Shrewsbury Town at Ewood Park.

The Rovers boss says his players will have to perform better than they have in recent weeks if they are to pick up a victory which would give their automatic promotion hopes a real boost.

Rovers have drawn three of their last four matches, not helped by an illness bug which has hit many of the players and Mowbray himself.

But with a clear week to prepare for the Shrews clash, and the visitors having played twice since Rovers’ cup exit to Hull City, Mowbray says there can be no excuses from his side.

He said: “We need to perform at a level higher than we have in the last couple of weeks.

“The team have been fantastic but they have been en masse under the weather, a lot of games with illness in the group and I think we have to take any excuses away.

“We’ve had a week’s build up to this game, they played a cup match after we did, they played a Checkatrade Trophy game and there’s no excuses for us.

“We have to find the energy and adrenaline levels to show the true colours of our team.”

Rovers go in to the game third in the table, five points behind second-placed Shrewsbury. By 5pm the gap could be as low as two, or as high as eight, but with 20 games to play after this, Mowbray is remaining relaxed.

He added: “This weekend is a big game on paper, a game we should be looking forward to and embracing and hopefully there will be a decent crowd at Ewood to cheer the team on.

“It’s second v third, it can be two points or it can be eight points. Even at eight points it’s not insurmountable, there would still be 20 games to go.

“It can swing very quickly.

“We’ve shown that we can win six games on the bounce so we can back-to-back matches consistently and we need to keep doing what we have done, keep working hard, be as focussed and concentrated and see Shrewsbury as the next opposition.

“At home we expect to find a performance that will get us the three points.”

With Rovers unbeaten in their last 14 league matches, Mowbray wants spirits to remain high for the rest of the season, adding: “We’re all confident going in to the next 21 games that we can keep the standards high, the work ethic high and enjoy each other’s company and training day to day and get the job done.”