Date: 11th September 2017 at 11:06am
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Blackburn continued to live up to the pre-season billing as League One favourites by recording a third successive win.

Further movement up the table, and improvement in form after a difficult start, was seen following Rovers’ 3-0 victory at Rochdale on Saturday.

An early opener from Richie Smallwood set Blackburn on the way, the midfielder volleying in from an Elliott Bennett cross with 10 minutes on the clock.

Marcus Antonsson, the on-loan Leeds forward had seen a first half curling effort go close, doubled the lead in the second half with Rochdale goalkeeper Brendan Moore, who made a few saves to prevent Blackburn from adding more goals, beaten for a third time when Danny Graham rounded him to score.

Tony Mowbray knows Blackburn had to work hard for it but the boss was pleased with the afternoon’s work at Spotland as Rovers, which he expected to be the case, collected all three points.

‘I thought it was hard work. I thought we played against a team who gave everything for their manager and the club,’ he told the Official Website.

Adding: ‘Ultimately I think with the players that we have got – with total respect to Rochdale – we expect to come to Rochdale and win. But I thought it was really really hard work, we had to dig in and dig deep.’

The boss compared this game to an earlier defeat at Southend, saying the fact Blackburn competed against Rochdale, which wasn’t the case at Roots Hall, made all the difference as Rovers were able to ‘physically turn up’ on the day.

Mowbray said: ‘But what is pleasing is that you can compare this game to Southend on the opening day as a similar type of arena, a similar type of feel to the match, a game that we didn’t really physically turn up. I thought that we physically turned up today and competed with a team that if you don’t compete against you are going to lose. So that is the most pleasing aspect, it looks like the team are acclimatising to the league and getting used to what is required to win football matches.’

Blackburn, who will travel again on Tuesday when heading to Glanford Park to face Scunthorpe, were backed by 3,200 fans at Spotland – such support was amazing for Mowbray and the boss was delighted to give the fans something to cheer about.

He finished: ‘I’m also pleased for the supporters, I have to mention them, it was an amazing turnout. I’ve been to this place a few times either to watch other games or to bring a team here and I’ve never seen as much support for the away side, it was quite amazing.’

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