Marvin’s mar­vel lifts Mow­bray

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Si­mon Smed­ley

AMOMENT of class from the mer­cu­rial Marvin Emnes lit up a nervy Cham­pi­onship rel­e­ga­tion scrap at Ewood Park.

The Dutch­man – cur­rently on loan from Swansea City – con­trolled bril­liantly, left de­fender Cal­lum Con­nolly for dead, and then smashed home his first Rovers goal since Septem­ber to fire his club out of the drop zone.

For Rovers head coach Tony Mow­bray it was a third game with­out de­feat since re­plac­ing Owen Coyle, and a sec­ond straight 1-0 home vic­tory.

He said: “The de­ter­mi­na­tion, drive and re­silience got the play­ers through that and I’m de­lighted for them.

“If I’m hon­est I didn’t feel overly threat­ened in this game, but that de­sire to get us over the line is some­thing that re­ally stood out.

“It’s been a tough few weeks for the play­ers. I thought they looked a lit­tle jaded in the first half, but the sub­sti­tu­tions in the sec­ond half helped.

“It’s been a great start to my time here, but there’s still a long way to go.”

Mow­bray saluted Emnes and his won­der strike, but also de­manded more from the 28year-old loa­nee.

“I am de­lighted for Marvin,” added Mow­bray. “But he does need to add more goals to his game.

“Play­ers like him need to be get­ting at least ten goals a sea­son. That was his fourth, so he does need to im­prove on that.”

Wi­gan boss War­ren Joyce was watch­ing from the stands – com- plete with a dress­ing on his eye af­ter mi­nor surgery dur­ing the week – as both sides huffed and puffed dur­ing a gen­er­ally frus­trat­ing first pe­riod.

There were few chances of a break­through, though Rovers’ Liam Feeney saw a crisp strike well saved by Matt Gilks in the open­ing minute.

At the other end Michael Ja­cobs went on a run be­fore fir­ing wide, while Omar Bogle ought to have done bet­ter when he fired meekly at Ja­son Steele.

Rovers did en­joy the bet­ter of the sec­ond pe­riod, and cre­ated a num­ber of chances added to the one Emnes ex­pertly dis­patched in the 58th minute.

Sub Con­nor Ma­honey curled an ef­fort past the far post, while El­liott Ben­nett al­most pun­ished an er­ror from Wi­gan de­fender Jake Bux­ton.

Danny Gra­ham came close to grab­bing a sec­ond Rovers goal, while Wi­gan’s mis­er­able af­ter­noon was per­fectly summed up when Jamie Han­son lashed hor­ri­bly wide from 12 yards in stop­page time.

Wi­gan are now four points adrift of fourth-bot­tom Wolves – and games are run­ning out. They only have 11 left to play.

Gra­ham Bar­row – Wi­gan’s stand-in man­ager due to Joyce’s ab­sence – said: “Of course the over-rid­ing feel­ing is one of dis­ap­point­ment, this was a mas­sive game.

“In the end we’ve just been beaten by that bit of qual­ity from Emnes. We didn’t show enough of that type of qual­ity un­til we’d gone be­hind.

“It’s down to brav­ery and com­mit­ment from the play­ers now. We didn’t show enough of that in the first half, but we know it’s there.

“There’s still all to play for. We’ve got to get some­thing from the next few games, and we can do that.”

Bar­row con­firmed that Joyce had been heav­ily in­volved in the build-up to the game and was re­spon­si­ble for the sub­sti­tu­tions.

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

CLASSY: Black­burn Rovers’ Marvin Emnes scores their first goal and cel­e­brates

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