It was certainly a case of two valuable points being lost at Ewood on Saturday. Referee Chris Foy did not help matters with a performance that was full of inconsistancies and the constant noise pollution from the shrill of his whistle. But ultimately, Rovers could not brake down a Birmingham side which was average at best.
There were some positive performances from the likes of the ever improving Jermaine Jones and David Dunn, who looks fitter and more eager than he has done for some time. Micheal Salgado was again at his buzzing best and is now arguably the fans cult hero taking over the mantle from the legend that was Tugay.
The biggest problem facing Rovers at the moment could ultimately prove to be their downfall. Lack of goals has been a common feature at the club all season and there is no Rovers striker at present who has the confidence and looks likely to get the goals to drag the side out of the danger zone. Any mix of Roberts, Benjani, Kalinic or Santa Cruz will hardly put the fear of God into the opposing defences. Roque still appears to be a shadow of the player that lit up Ewood a few years ago and Kalinic must be wondering what he has to do to force his way into the starting 11.
The fact that we appear not to have a striker who can put the ball into the net is all the more frustrating given the form and talent Junior Hoilett is showing. Again on Saturday we saw the attributes that are frightening the life out of fullbacks all over the country. His pace and dribbling skills are are a joy to watch and this is something that has been missing from Rovers teams in recent years. He creates chances out of nothing with precise crossing and his anticipation and speed of thought is tremendous as illustrated by his wonderfully taken goal.
Hoilett's fitness is the key to Rovers survival hopes. He came off with 20 minutes to go as a precaution so hopefully he will play some part at Goodison next week. The history of relegation battles is littered with examples of players coming good at the right time of the season to rescue a team. In 2003/4 Jon Stead's goalscoring feats secured a Premier League place for Rovers and I believe that no side at the bottom of the table possess a true match winner such as Hoilett.
The policy of reducing ticket prices for Saturday's game should again be applauded. The atmosphere was excellent and the Rovers faithful encouraged the team from the first minute to the last. When the inquests are opened at the end of the season into the mess the club found itself in, no one can point the finger of blame at the supporters.
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