3 things that Paul Cook needs to do to unlock Blackburn
We should be fresh heading into the crunch promotion clash against Blackburn following the postponement in mid-week. Rovers will however be high in confidence following a 3-0 away win against AFC Wimbledon and are coming off a run of just one league defeat since October.
It will be chance for us to make up some lost ground as we now head into the game six points behind the league leaders despite having four games in hand. So, what does Paul Cook need to do to win on Sunday?
1) Invoke the spirit of the Manchester City win
The famous win against City took a lot out of the players according to the gaffer, and Nathan Byrne was rested for the narrow win against Rochdale. It certainly was a bit of a struggle at the weekend, and hopefully with a full eight days without a game, the team will be firing on all cylinders once again for the trip to Ewood Park.
We should be back to full strength, with it being confirmed already that the likes of Nick Powell and our captain Sam Morsy were both in line for starts mid-week. With the team that secured that great FA Cup victory all back in contention, we should have no fear heading into the Rovers clash.
2) Time to recall our No.9
Not selected by Cook for our last game, Will Grigg should be in line for a recall to the starting eleven. James Vaughan had a couple of good chances against Dale, but his lack of goals means that despite the other qualities he brings to the side, he should make way for our top goalscorer.
We shouldn`t be heading into the match looking for a draw despite our games in hand over the table toppers, and our N0.9 will give us the best chance possible of securing a vital win.
3) Get Powell in between the lines
Equally as important will be Nick Powell`s return to the first team fold. After having to come off against City with a hamstring injury, his presence was missed against Rochdale. Our manager will be delighted to have him back for such an important game.
Playing in his attacking midfield role, he should be able to cause a great deal of trouble for Tony Mowbray`s side, moving in between the lines of midfield and defence. His goal threat, along with Grigg`s, has been crucial this campaign so far, and hopefully he can hit the back of the net once again at the weekend.