Tony Mowbray is confident his side will rise to the occasion in front of a packed house at Ewood Park when they host Preston North End today (12noon).

More than 20,000 fans, including more than 7,000 from Preston, are expected for this afternoon’s game with Rovers without a win in six matches.

But with home wins over Leeds and West Brom already this season, Mowbray has confidence that his side can raise their game and find a performance that can see them halt their slide down the table against the in-form Lilywhites.

“Together we’ll be ready for the weekend, another tough game, we know they’re on an amazing run of results,” said Mowbray, who has hinted at changes after a disappointing run.

“Hopefully we can understand the game that’s in front of us, is a big game with a big crowd

“I think we have risen to the bigger occasions this season pretty well.

“We will look forward to it and keep the spirit that I have spoken for so long about this team.”

Mowbray has been critical of his side’s defending, not least in last weekend’s defeat to Rotherham United, and revealed he has had to ‘keep a lid’ on his emotions at times.

He added: “I have seen a different side of me. I’m pretty competitive and emotional, I have to keep a lid on it.

“They feel my emotion after games in the dressing room and they feel my human side.

“At some stage you have to put your professional cap on and make sure that your team are ready for the next game and understand that we’re all in this together.

“They understand that the manager can shout and be aggressive, but he’s part of what we’re trying to achieve and they need me as much as I need them.”

Mowbray has continued to stress he wants his players to have an ownership of the team, with the senior pros having an input on how they function.

The boss feels that can only be beneficial when the players take to the pitch, having worked all week on what is expected in certain situations.

He added: “You can talk to your players before the game, at half time, and at the end.

“I’m very much with my team, I have talked to them about how this is our team, not my team. It’s their team as much as it is mine.

“I have always felt the players should have a level of ownership of a team. I don’t go and head the ball, I don’t go and kick the ball for them, and do the job on the grass, they do that.

“They have to take a level of ownership. The senior players particularly have to have a level of ownership on the team and how it functions.

“We’re a collective, we discuss scenarios and situations, because sometimes decisions have to be made on the grass.

“A manager can’t make every decision, I can’t pass the ball for them or deal with every situation, that’s how we deal with it as a collective group.

“When I talk after games they feel my emotions because it’s something we’ve discussed. There are no grey areas left to them when we start a game, they know their jobs.

“When we lose goals like we did on Saturday, the individuals know where the flaws were. Do they need shouting at? I’m quite an emotional guy, they know my thoughts.

“But I’m not telling them anything they don’t know about their responsibilities because they know them before we start.”