Date: 6th August 2017 at 10:30am
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Blackburn might be League One favourites but Saturday’s 2-1 defeat against another fancied side, Southend, should act as a ‘wake up call’ according to Tony Mowbray.

Ryan Leonard put Southend ahead just before the half hour mark when the midfielder was left unmarked to volley in a cross from Michael Timlin.

Former Burnley winger Michael Kightly, previously a Southend player in the past, returning to Roots Hall in the summer when released by the Clarets, doubled the Shrimpers’ lead before half time.

A fine 30 yard freekick from Charlie Mulgrew, wearing the captain’s armband, brought Blackburn back into the game early in the second half but Rovers couldn’t find an equaliser as the 1,500 travelling Roverites went home disappointed.

Mowbray’s been trying to make it clear he was aware this was the sort of challenge Blackburn can expect most weeks but as disappointed as he was by defeat he told the Official Website this could perhaps act as an early season wake up call and reminder what League One is about.

‘Obviously it was not what we were looking for. If you want to put a cliché on it then it was probably a wake-up call for us, a ‘welcome to the division’. It is what we will face every week and I’ve tried to get that message across loud and clear all week as to what this league is about. You have to earn the right to play your football and I think we found that today.’

He went on to say defensively Blackburn need to do better as we got caught out in basis areas teams will focus but all in all Mowbray had ‘no excuses’ and was sorry for the travelling fans, reiterating Rovers’ desire to get to drips with this division and fast.

Mowbray said: ‘The first goal was a set-play, and in this division if you don’t defend set-plays well then you are going to lose a lot of goals because every team focuses on set-plays. It is frustrated for us but there are no excuses. It is disappointing for the supporters who travelled in huge numbers.’

‘We have to get used to this division and get used to it very quickly. Every team fights for their lives,’ added the boss.

Concluding: ‘It is the start of the season and you always get results like this at the start of the season, I said that in the week. You have to adapt, you have to get used to the new division and understand what the league is about. The quicker our players understand the messages that I’ve been trying to pass to them the more beneficial it will be.’

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