Date: 2nd May 2017 at 5:48pm
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The Blackburn bid to stay in the Championship will go down to the final day but Tony Mowbray has raised concerns about ‘football’s integrity’, even if he can understand why rival boss David Wagner might have fielded a weakened team.

Blackburn’s win over Aston Villa wasn’t enough to take us above Nottingham Forest, beaten at QPR, or Birmingham, who overcame a Huddersfield side that included 10 changes with a play-off spot secured.

Commenting on the decision of the Huddersfield boss Mowbray told Sky Sports he could see why Wagner did what he had, it doesn’t mean he likes it though.

He said: ‘I fully understand the decision, to be honest. I’ve been a manager a long time now, and particularly in cup competitions you make eight, nine, 10 changes to give your squad a game. I think the manager at Huddersfield has seen it as job done, we’ve made the playoffs, and he’s been able to pick a team for a game which doesn’t really matter. What matters is trying to win the playoffs.’

Adding: ‘I understand his reasoning but the bigger picture is the integrity of the league. I could sit here and say ‘Oh I was really good friends with [Brentford boss] Dean Smith and I’ve had a chat with him, he’s going to put his kids out on Saturday’ but how would that appear to Nottingham Forest or Birmingham City. It doesn’t happen. We’ve all got a right to go and try to win every game. David Wagner probably thought he could go to Birmingham with the team he put out and win.’

This certainly worked to Birmingham’s advantage as they recorded a 2-0 win over Huddersfield, despite the fact they played with only 10 men from the 25th minute onwards – certainly an ‘unusual result’ for the Blackburn boss regardless of the impact Harry Redknapp might have had.

Mowbray added: ‘The score highlights it – Birmingham have struggled to win matches over the last couple of months, but with 10 men for over an hour they managed to win 2-0. You might argue Harry Redknapp’s intervention had something to do with it but it does seem an unusual result I suppose. It doesn’t matter, I feel as if I can sit here bleating about it but we have to look after ourselves.’

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