March 7, 2012
Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish reckons his side were "bullied" by Rovers in the 2nd half of the encounter at Ewood on Saturday. Whether this was the case is open to conjecture but McLeish’s comments have to be welcomed as it seems like an eternity since an opposition manager has given Rovers credit for getting amongst his team and imposing themselves on them.
Ewood during the mid 'noughties' was a place to avoid if you happened to be an over paid, underperforming prima donna who might be suffering a slight twinge to a hamstring or a few sniffles. Managers such as Wenger and Benitez prepared for a trip to Ewood with trepidation and in the days leading up to the visit to 'hell' were prepared to play mind games with referees warning of the consequences of being soft towards the 'bully boys'. Rovers need many more 2nd half performances like against Villa on Saturday to stay in this division.