BOWYER: JUDGE MY ROVERS NOW
BLACKBURN manager Gary Bowyer claims his side can be proud of their Championship placing this season – even if they missed out on the play-offs.
Goals from Rudy Gestede, Michael Keane and Tom Cairney moved Rovers to within three points of the top six with one match to play.
Marvin Sordell, who missed a first-half penalty, replied for the Addicks but Blackburn controlled the game from the first whistle.
And Bowyer, whose team only stayed up on the penultimate match of last season, claims Blackburn’s progress should not be sniffed at and has challenged the club to continue building.
“It has been a fantastic effort from everybody involved and a hell of a lot of hard work has gone into it,” said the Rovers boss.
“We need to make sure we continue that next week and then we have got another very important summer, because the club on the whole has got quite a bit to do still. We need to look at the squad again and not rest on the way we have finished this season.
“If there are areas where we feel we can improve then we have got to put a case forward for doing that. The improvement has got be put down to the players, the type of players that we have got in and the characters they are.
“Ultimately it is about the result on the Saturday and I have also been very well supported by the staff.
“We have challenged the players to get better and we have done that in every game. They have demanded more off of each other, which is pleasing.”
On 21 minutes Charlton received an early warning of what was to come when Dorian Dervite had to hook Markus Olsson’s teasing cross away from danger.
Five minutes later Gestede put Rovers ahead when he sneaked his header beyond Ben Hamer following a pinpoint cross from Michael Keane.
Hanley tripped Sordell inside the box five minutes before the break but Robinson beat out the forward’s penalty.
The miss quickly proved costly as on 51 minutes Keane nodded in from Craig Conway’s free-kick to double the lead.
Sordell made some amends three minutes later when he curled in from 20 yards, but the reprieve was brief as Rovers quickly extended their advantage.
Cairney converted from six yards after Jordan Rhodes’ initial strike had been cleared off the line by Dervite.
Two minutes later Gestede headed against the post for rampant Rovers, and on 92 minutes the forward saw a point-blank header parried out by Hamer.
The result leaves Charlton needing three points for their final two matches to secure their Championship status.
They host Watford on Tuesday before travelling to Blackpool on the final day, and head coach Jose Riga is eager for his side to be safe before they head north.
He said:“In the Championship you can never expect the result because each team can beat any other.
“We know what we have to do against Watford. It is still in our hands and I hope that we will do it then and not leave it until the final game of the season.
“In this situation it is most important to do what we have to do.
“We played a team that haven’t lost in their last 10 games and if they are in a very good moment so we knew the difficulty.
“Of course we were looking for a better result and we started the game in a good way. We had some little opportunities and on their first chance they scored.
“We had the penalty miss and that was a key moment. All of these little things have proved to make a big difference.”
SLIDE RULE: Tom Cairney, left, scores the third goal for Blackburn in the victory away to Charlton
HANDY: Rudy Gestede celebrates his goal