BOWYER’S BOYS ARE ON THE UP
Marshall bags two in Rovers fightback
GARY BOWYER believes winger Ben Marshall’s performance was worthy of gracing the top-flight as Blackburn came from behind to defeat Wigan.
James Perch gave the Latics an early second-half lead but Rovers hit back through Marshall’s two sublime efforts sandwiching a Jordan Rhodes header after Ivan Ramis missed a first-half penalty.
And Rovers boss Bowyer – who felt the penalty should not have been awarded to Wigan – believes his young side are growing as they moved up to eighth.
“I thought he [Marshall] was outstanding,” said Bowyer. “Technically, for me he’s got Premiership technique and I think you saw that with the different types of goals.
“The second one especially is an unbelievable finish but he is capable of that. He’s worked hard and he’s getting better every game and we’re delighted with the progress that he’s made.
“It’s quality finishing – if you see that in the Premier League Match of the Day would be drooling over it, so you have to put that into perspective. We’ve got a group here that want to improve and want to get better and are committed to each other.
“It’s a credit to their character and them learning from last season.They’re a young team and they’re learning all the time and getting better and I think you saw that.”
The game opened with a wellworked fourth-minute Rovers move when Marcus Olsson’s leftwing cross found Rhodes, whose header Scott Carson parried wide.
Blackburn were let off the hook when Alex Baptiste was judged by referee Roger East to have fouled a twisting and turning Callum McManaman, but Ramis put his 39th-minute penalty over the bar.
McManaman was Wigan’s main threat and he jinked to get a stoppage time shot away, forcing Paul Robinson into action.
Wigan took the lead soon after the break when Grant Hanley’s clearance from Emyr Huws’ cross was picked up by Perch, whose long-distance effort found its way through several bodies and past Robinson.
Rovers hit back two minutes later when Marshall fired home a thundering effort after the Latics failed to clear their lines.
And Blackburn took the lead when Craig Conway’s 56thminute free-kick was met by Rhodes, whose downward header crept into the bottom corner.
Luke Varney could have wrapped up the win two minutes later after latching onto Tom Cairney’s pass to go one-on-one with Carson, who diverted it inches wide.
Marshall grabbed his second with a sublime 82nd-minute effort after receiving possession centrally from Cairney, drifting inside and curling effortlessly past a diving Carson.
Latics boss Uwe Rosler believed the awarding of the freekick for Rhodes’ strike was the game’s turning point and was disappointed with the referee’s performance.
“The second goal – I am very unhappy about this,” he said. “I think the referee, being at Blackburn Rovers’ ground, did that decision and I think when he watches that he will be very unhappy about his own performance, about his own decisionmaking in that situation and that turned the game definitely.
“The game changed through a set-piece. Against the top teams in this division, you have to be more ruthless and just with nice, pretty football it will be difficult.
“We have to deal better with free-kick situations – that we will analyse and I think in general we have to be better.When we had a little bit more calmness, we could have really wrapped the game up in the first-half and I don’t think they would have come back.”
ARMS SPREAD: Jordan Rhodes celebrates the second goal for Blackburn
SPOT OF BOTHER: Wigan’s Ivan Ramis misses from the penalty spot