In their 2-0 defeat to Sheffield United, Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray dropped several first team players to the bench and tested out a new formation, playing 4-3-3 instead.

Tony Mowbray made seven changes to his Blackburn Rovers side, with star man Bradley Dack just one of several first choice players to be omitted from the starting eleven.

Ben Brereton, Kasey Palmer, Joe Rothwell, Lewis Travis, Richie Smallwood, Harrison Reed and Elliott Bennett all came into the side for their clash at Bramall Lane. However, they couldn’t bring three points home as they fell 3-0 to Sheffield United, capitulating after Smallwood’s red card in the 71st minute.

Tony Mowbray has spoken to the Lancashire Telegraph to defend his tea selection, stating that he wanted to protect some of his key players.

“I don’t walk to talk about Bradley Dack specifically, Danny Graham didn’t play, Adam Armstrong didn’t, Corry Evans didn’t, there were a few not playing,” Mowbray said.

It’s about managing the squad, Danny is 33, Bradley has a history of hamstring injuries, and we have to manage our group.

“So why can’t Joe Rothwell play, why can’t Kasey Palmer play, why can’t Lewis Travis play.

“For 70 minutes the team were competitive. We had to try and stop a team who were very, very good at home and have this unique way of playing.

“I thought the players stood up to that environment. This stadium weren’t happy with the way the game was going and that was great credit to the way the team were performing.

“Yet we have to deal with the end result. I felt it was the right team to play and they showed me for long spells what they can do.

“It was after two more established players that came on that we lost the two quick goals so it wasn’t down to the players we picked from the start having a negative influence.

“The defence crumbled after the first goal and that’s not what we expect. We expected a more resilient mentality about keeping clean sheets and if we do then we have to make sure we don’t lose any more.”


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