Manager Leam Richardson praised Rotherham’s mindset after they fought back to claim a vital 2-2 draw at Blackburn.

The Championship’s bottom club went into the game with two draws and six goals on the road all season and Arnor Sigurdsson’s stabbed finish in the eighth minute put them on the back foot.

Sean Morrison’s close-range effort restored parity before the break, only for Sammie Szmodics to roll in his 16th of the season less than 40 seconds after the restart.

But Tom Eaves powered in a low header late on to secure a resilient point.

Rotherham have picked up points in three of Richardson’s six games in charge and he saluted his team’s effort.

He said: “I thought we started both halves unlike ourselves and were punished. Very respectful of Blackburn. They’ve got some good players, been together for a while and quite fluent in what they’re doing.

“But for the level of effort and endeavour in what we are trying to do with the bodies – I don’t think there will be another team in the country who’ve used less bodies than us over the Christmas period – it’s commendable to the players so they take the credit for this period. Take the point and move on.

“They didn’t give up. The game got stretched, possibly doing the wrong thing for the right reasons at times, but we tried to take control of the game. The subs helped us. To go behind at any stage is difficult so to have the mindset to come back into the game and possibly go and get more from it is pleasing.”

Blackburn boss Jon Dahl Tomasson admitted his team needed a two-goal lead after watching his side drift from the play-offs with a run of one point over the festive period.

He said: “With the performance we probably deserved more. We knew we were playing a team fighting against relegation.

“We knew what they were good at, second balls, chaos moments, set plays, crosses into the box and defending in a low block which they did really well so I was impressed with the amount of chances we were able to create.

“This team probably needs a 2-0 lead when you’re playing against teams good at set plays. The goals we gave away on set plays, we should have done better.

“The second goal, we should also have done better. First of all preventing the cross where we had two against one at the side and two against one in the box where we are losing that dual.

“But I think the amount of chances was a lot. I think the goalkeeper of the opponent was probably the best player. He was excellent.”

Rotherham twice came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw at out-of-form Blackburn.

Leam Richardson’s men were second best for much of this encounter but showed the kind of resilience needed if the league’s bottom club are to have any chance of survival.

Rovers went ahead through Arnor Sigurdsson’s well-taken eighth-minute finish and it looked to be the perfect platform for a routine afternoon.

But, given the two sides have the league’s worst defensive records, it was no surprise Rotherham exposed Blackburn’s frailties. After a trio of superb Viktor Johansson stops, they equalised through Sean Morrison’s header.

Sammie Szmodics’ composed finish restored Blackburn’s lead straight after the restart but Rotherham hung in and Tom Eaves’ powerful header eight minutes from time gave them an improbable draw.

They are seven points from safety but it’s three unbeaten for Richardson while Blackburn’s wretched run continues with just one win in eight.

Rovers were ahead early after Szmodics’ shot was blocked across the box and Sigurdsson controlled well before stabbing home his sixth of the campaign from 12 yards.

Johansson produced a flying save moments later to tip Harry Pickering’s rasping drive over and they almost equalised in the 18th minute when a corner found Christ Tiehi but Rovers scrambled his close-range shot behind.

Rovers continued to threaten and Callum Brittain’s cross found Sigurdsson but his first-time shot was blocked by Morrison, who flung himself at Semir Telalovic’s shot to prevent a certain second.

Brittain was then denied by Johansson at full stretch before Szmodics sliced wide with the goal gaping.

They paid for their profligacy as Rotherham’s testing corners yielded a 31st-minute equaliser when Sam Clucas found Morrison six yards out and he nodded home with ease.

Johansson was at it again in the 34th minute when he produced a stunning reaction stop to repel Szmodics’ powerful low effort from the right of the area.

Rotherham’s Ollie Rathbone almost grabbed a second in first-half stoppage time but curled against the crossbar and Rovers responded straight after the restart when Szmodics ran onto a James Hill pass and rounded Johansson to notch his 16th of the season.

The second half wasn’t as frenetic but the Millers missed a glorious 63rd-minute opportunity to level when Sam Nombe crossed into the path of Eaves six yards out but the striker contrived to direct the ball over.

Rovers dominated proceedings without forcing Johansson into heroics like those in the first half and they were sucker-punched again with eight minutes remaining.

Sebastian Revan whipped a dangerous cross from the right onto the head of Eaves, who stooped to convert into the bottom-right corner to secure only Rotherham’s third away point this season.

Jon Dahl Tomasson felt lacklustre defending was the key factor behind the 3-2 defeat at Hull as Blackburn slipped to a fourth consecutive defeat in the Sky Bet Championship.

Rovers were twice sloppy early in the game when Liam Delap and Aaron Connolly gave the hosts a commanding lead.

Sammie Szmodics and Harry Pickering thrust the visitors back into the match by half-time but Alfie Jones scrambled home a 63rd-minute winner to condemn Blackburn to another loss.

Tomasson, whose plight was not helped by Dominic Hyam’s 74th-minute dismissal, said: “We are very disappointed to lose the game.

“We knew it would be difficult against a very good side and we should not forget that this is a very young team.

“But we are very disappointed with the goals we conceded. The first two were nothing to do with shape – we had extra players and it’s not like they were in one-on-one situations – but we should have done much better.

“I must give the players credit to make it 2-2 as we showed great togetherness and resilience. We looked very good at that time and of course we should go for the game.

“It was a very equal game in the second half and then we conceded a goal from a corner.

“We are very disappointed with those moments.”

Blackburn, who have now conceded 12 goals in their last four games, were always up against it when Delap scored at Leopold Wahlstedt’s near post after 11 minutes.

Aaron Connolly doubled Hull’s advantage seven minutes later but Rovers made it 2-1 when Sammie Szmodics lobbed Matt Ingram to claim a 15th goal of the season.

Harry Pickering, on his 25th birthday and 100th start for the club, equalised in first-half injury-time, but Jones cashed in on some poor defending with the winner off Tyler Morton’s corner.

Tomasson said: “We have players that are not used to playing three games in a week and that is something that we need to develop.

“Our structure is not risky at all – we had spare players in every situation – but we just need to be in control of situations.

“The team played some great stuff – even with 10 men.

“I also thought we played excellent in the first half – it was only with those moments when we should have done much better.”

Liam Rosenior felt defeat of Blackburn could be a season-defining victory as Hull moved back into the play-offs.

He said: “I’m so happy we don’t have to play Blackburn again – they are a credit to Jon. I thought there were outstanding and they made for a really good football match.

“The first half kind of sums up our season: we were in control and then we shoot ourselves in the foot.

“We were still in control of the game but we lose possession and then it’s 2-2.

“There were a lot of frustrated players at half-time but credit to them – they went out and did it and I’m really proud of them.

“It’s the biggest win of the season by far in terms of momentum.”

Rosenior added: “We had to manage the game in a different way, I felt.

“Second half, we got the press better but we had to be patient. We also scored from a set-play, which we are getting better at, so I’m delighted.

“It’s massive for the club (to end the year in the play-offs). It doesn’t mean anything now but I want it to mean something in May.

“That was a character-mentality game and I think the players showed that in bucket-loads.

“It’s about staying calm and consistent but we are in a good place.”

Blackburn lost a fourth game in a row as Hull moved back into the Sky Bet Championship play-offs with a 3-2 victory at the MKM Stadium.

Rovers were always up against it after Liam Delap and Aaron Connolly scored early in the first half.

Sammie Szmodics and Harry Pickering – on his 25th birthday and 100th start for the club – made it 2-2 at the break but Alfie Jones’ winner after 63 minutes condemned Jon Dahl Tomasson to another damaging loss.

Blackburn were reduced to 10 men when Dominic Hyam was sent off for a second bookable offence after 74 minutes.

Delap capitalised on some poor defending to open the scoring after 11 minutes, skipping past Pickering before charging into the penalty area. Hyam then failed to stop Delap thumping the ball in at Leopold Wahlstedt’s near post.

Blackburn nearly equalised moments later when Dilan Markanday teed up Semir Telalovic on the edge of the box. The German’s strike was unimpressive but took a jolting deflection off Jones on to the base of the left post.

The visitors were once again not at their best at the back after 18 minutes, with Hyam and James Hill outdone by a routine long ball, from which Connolly controlled well before cushioning a half-volley home.

The visitors reduced the deficit on 33 minutes when Arnor Sigurdsson’s speculative punt through the middle bisected Jones and Jacob Greaves. Szmodics had the nous to spot Matt Ingram off his line before expertly chipping home for his 15th goal of the season.

Pickering then restored parity deep into first-half injury time when he was played into the penalty area on the overlap. Ingram might have done better but a slight deflection skewed the ball from his grasp.

Hull were back ahead as Rovers failed to clear Tyler Morton’s corner from the left and Jones scraped the ball into the net from three yards.

Hyam was handed a second booking for a foul on Ozan Tufan and while Blackburn had plenty of possession thereafter, Ingram was never seriously tested.

Darren Moore wants Huddersfield to start looking up the Championship table rather than over their shoulder after putting distance to the relegation zone with a 3-0 win over Blackburn.

Jaheim Headley’s low strike handed the Terriers a first-half advantage which was added to after the break by Sorba Thomas and Delano Burgzorg as Moore’s men opened up a five-point gap to the bottom three.

There are a cluster of teams just above the Terriers in the second tier now and, with Middlesbrough visiting this Friday, Moore wants his side’s mindset to be looking upwards rather than down.

He said: “It’s about changing the mindset of the club and the perception and us as a group of players, fans, and everything else. We just want to continue looking up the league and seeing who we can catch above.

“That’s got to be the mindset really, in terms of it was a good three points today, and we focus on Friday for another real rough encounter, another good team coming into town and for myself and the group, we know we’re under no illusions how difficult that game is going to be.

“The biggest thing for us today, we knew Blackburn are a very, very good fluid team with the ball, they move it around really well but we knew the transitions would be massive today.

“We knew if we could get part one right in terms of our work off the ball, we knew when it turned over there would be areas to exploit and we managed to do that.”

Blackburn boss Jon Dahl Tomasson labelled his side’s performance their worst of the season so far, with one of the few positives being the fact they have a clash later this week against Hull to bounce back.

He said: “I think it was a disappointing result and a disappointing performance. We all knew coming here Huddersfield is around the relegation zone and they are fighting.

“You need a top performance and we didn’t do that, it was probably the worst performance during the season.

“It’s not a performance we’re used to seeing, so it’s of course extremely disappointing.

“I think when we conceded the first goal, initially there was nothing wrong in conceding the first goal, but it gave confidence to the crowd and for the Huddersfield players and then we were chasing the game. I must apologise to our fans, almost 3,000 fans that have travelled, it’s not positive today at all.

“The good thing with football is that there’s a game in a couple of days and I think that’s positive. That’s one of the things that is positive today, but the rest is not good.”

Huddersfield moved five points clear of the Championship relegation zone with a 3-0 Boxing Day win over disappointing Blackburn.

Jaheim Headley’s low strike handed the Terriers a first-half advantage which was added to after the break by Sorba Thomas and Delano Burgzorg as Darren Moore’s side opened up a five-point gap to the bottom three.

Town headed into the encounter sitting just above the drop zone and on a winless run of five matches, while Rovers had lost four out of their last five clashes and sat 14th in the standings.

Following early Blackburn pressure, Thomas collected David Kasumu’s right-wing cross to chest down and slice over from inside the box after four minutes.

At the other end, Niall Ennis had Rovers’ first real chance before the 10-minute mark but fired straight at Town keeper Chris Maxwell.

Ben Wiles rose the highest from Thomas’ corner not long after but Leopold Wahlstedt was untroubled in the Blackburn goal.

Town then went close to taking the lead when Kasumu found Thomas and Wahlstedt showed great reactions to parry to safety.

Rovers winger Arnor Sigurdsson was not far away after latching onto Sammie Szmodics’s lay-off for a sublime curling effort which flew just over.

The chances continue to come and Dominic Hyam diverted Headley’s dangerous low cross over his own goal, before Burgzorg’s mazy and persistent run down the right was eventually snuffed out by Rovers.

The hosts made the breakthrough in the 28th minute when Headley took aim and his low drive went straight under Wahlstedt too easily to put the Terriers in front.

Jack Rudoni rose highest to meet Thomas’ free-kick as Huddersfield sought a second but Wahlstedt was equal to it, while injured Town goalkeeper Maxwell was replaced before half-time by Jacob Chapman for his Championship debut.

Szmodics nearly capped off a flowing Rovers move in stoppage time but curled just over as the hosts led at the break.

After half-time, Blackburn top scorer Szmodics delivered a dangerous cross which just missed the arriving Ennis and Chapman parried behind.

The hosts doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half when Burgzorg slotted across goal for a free Thomas to bury past Wahlstedt.

Shortly after that, Huddersfield wanted a penalty when Rudoni went down under Wahlstedt’s challenge but replays showed the Rovers stopper clearly got the ball.

It mattered little for Town though as they made it 3-0 in the 68th minute to all but wrap up the win, substitute Josh Koroma putting Burgzorg in and the Huddersfield attacker’s shot slipped under Wahlstedt.

Jake Garrett’s 78th-minute free-kick sailed harmlessly over as Rovers sought to reduce the deficit, with Callum Brittain’s long-range drive also off target as the Terriers held firm to claim three valuable points.

Valerien Ismael saluted Watford’s mentality after they came from behind to claim a dramatic late 2-1 win at Blackburn.

The Hornets trailed for much of the game after Adam Wharton’s first goal this season – struck from a tight angle – put Blackburn ahead in the third minute.

In an increasingly open game, both sides had chances but both goalkeepers excelled, making important second-half saves.

The visitors finished strongly and clinically, as substitutes Mileta Rajovic and Rhys Healey both pounced on rebounds in the final 10 minutes to turn the game on its head and send the 1,183 travelling fans into delirium.

It’s three successive victories on the road for seventh-placed Watford, who are in striking distance of the play-offs and Ismael praised his substitutes and his side’s “ruthless” second-half showing but warned against a repeat of the “complacent” first half.

He said: “I think that the first half, we were too complacent, I think that this is what we have to learn.

“I said at half-time, I was loud with the players. If we think that 80 per cent will be enough to win a game in the Championship, we make a big mistake and we will have a lot of regrets.

“I said two things are positive from the first half. The first thing is we are not playing our level and the second thing is it’s only 1-0 so now we have enough time and the bench to have an impact, so the second half we show another mentality and desire to make sure we do the right thing.

“It was a positive sign that it wasn’t our best game but we win those games now. Ruthless.

“It’s a good feeling that the boys again showed a big mentality. But the win is with a big warning to make sure we are always 100 per cent to get our rewards.

“When you know you have the strength, the physicality to go through the 90 minutes, and when you know you have the bench, it gives us the strength to stay calm.”

Blackburn head coach Jon Dahl Tomasson was aggrieved that Arnor Sigurdsson had a goal disallowed midway through the second half after Harry Leonard was penalised for fouling Ben Hamer in the build-up, and said the result was “cruel”.

He said: “It’s a hard result to take of course. It’s unbelievable that we are standing here with nothing actually.

“I think we dominated the game for the first 70 minutes, played some excellent football.

“The only criticism which we can have is of course we didn’t kill of the game with the chances we had in both halves.

“And of course, probably the biggest moment of the game is where the goalie for the opponent dropped the ball and (the referee) disallowed the goal.

“That’s a big moment isn’t it? 2-0 up after 70 minutes, I think, then normally you win it. He dropped the ball. The keeper never had control over the ball.

“But disappointed to stand here without the win for sure. I think it was an excellent performance from our players.

“But football can be cruel. It can be extremely cruel.”

Watford produced a dramatic late comeback to overcome Blackburn 2-1 and move to within two points of the Sky Bet CHampionship play-offs.

Valerien Ismael’s men were second best for much of this encounter against an energetic Rovers side, who led thanks to Adam Wharton’s first goal of the campaign in the third minute.

The Hornets looked dangerous going forward without creating much aside from Vakoun Bayo’s well-saved shot in the 50th minute and would have been further behind but for Ben Hamer’s second-half heroics that saw him make four important stops.

Watford’s bench ultimately made the difference as Yaser Asprilla’s shot was parried into the path of Mileta Rajovic to equalise in the 83rd minute and, four minutes later, Rhys Healey’s second of the season secured the points for Watford, who have won four of their last six.

Rovers were quick into their stride and scored in the third minute when Hayden Carter’s reverse pass found Wharton on the right before the teenager drilled a shot past Hamer from a tight angle.

The Hornets continued to look vulnerable and Lewis Travis’ backheel found Arnor Sigurdsson, whose low drive was smothered by Hamer.

Rovers almost made an even faster start to the second half when Andrew Moran’s inch-perfect ball over the top found Jake Garrett but he sliced wide with just the goalkeeper to beat.

They were grateful to a Leopold Wahlstedt moments later when Ryan Andrews played in Bayo but his powerful low shot was brilliantly repelled by the strong hand of the Sweden keeper.

Hamer kept Watford in the game on the hour, producing a superb diving stop to parry Garrett’s 20-yard free-kick behind.

The hosts went close again just after through Wharton, whose shot was saved by Hamer before Carter lashed wide with the goal at his mercy and Watford’s goalkeeper then parried a stinging Moran shot away as the Hornets hung on.

Hamer’s best stop came in the 66th minute when a Moran corner ricocheted off a Watford player and was on the way in but for an outstanding reflex save.

Those saves proved vital as Watford drew level with seven minutes remaining when Asprilla charged forward and unleashed a low left-foot effort that Wahlstedt could only parry and Rajovic reacted quickest to slam home the rebound from close range for his eighth goal this season.

Watford completed an improbable turnaround four minutes later when Wahlstedt punched a corner as far as Edo Kayembe whose first-time effort was too hot for Rovers’ goalkeeper to handle and Healey was perfectly placed to tap home.

Russell Martin hailed his “relentless” Southampton side for finally blowing apart a Championship rival after thrashing 10-man Blackburn 4-0.

Samuel Edozie, Stuart Armstrong, Sekou Mara and Carlos Alcaraz all netted as Saints continued their best unbeaten run for 39 years and made it five home victories in a row.

Southampton’s single-digit goal difference and early-season slump had seen them fall behind pace-setters Leicester and Ipswich, but after 14 matches without defeat, they are starting to put pressure on the top two.

Martin said: “We’re not even halfway through the season and there is so much more room to grow.

“Hopefully we can have more days like today but even when we have only been winning by one goal in our eyes it has been convincing.

“You can’t always win convincingly, not even the teams at the top are leaving teams in their wake.

“I felt like we needed the second goal in the second half and always looked likely to get it even before the sending-off.

“I don’t know how you define a convincing win but we have got the goals we felt have been coming.

“We have been punished a couple of times for not scoring the goals but today we were relentless. The league is so tight and the goals might be really important at the end of the season.

“I’m really pleased we got the third and fourth goals as it is a fair reflection of the players’ mentality and creation. I enjoyed watching the team.

“That is five wins at home in a row and that is really amazing for the players. If we keep putting in performances like that we’ll see where it takes us.”

After dominating the first half, Saints finally led in the 44th minute when Edozie – on his first start for two months – diverted James Bree’s corner home.

Rovers defender Callum Brittain was shown a second yellow card for kicking the ball away in the 55th minute, having already been booked for pulling Kyle Walker-Peters’ shirt.

And from then on Saints turned on the style.

Stuart Armstrong stroked in after following in on Flynn Downes getting chopped down to make it 2-0 in the 64th minute.

Mara won a penalty, only for Alcaraz to chip over, but the Frenchman tapped in Ryan Fraser’s cross before Alcaraz thumped in a fourth deep into stoppage time.

Rovers boss Jon Dahl Tomasson revealed Brittain apologised in the dressing room after the match, but pinpointed his lack of discipline as the turning point at St Mary’s.

“It is a disappointing day. It is always going to be a difficult game against a team that is a Premier League squad,” he said.

“We knew that but we came with the intention of winning the game. In the first half we were quite solid and gave one chance away but we weren’t quite good enough on the ball today and the first goal’s timing hurts our game.

“The game totally changed after the red card and being a player behind against a Premier League side is difficult. We were still in the game after the first goal but after the second booking the game is over.

“Callum apologised to his team-mates in the dressing room immediately. A game where we could have got something out of it at 1-0, then suddenly the game is over.”

Samuel Edozie netted for the second time in a week as Southampton dispatched Blackburn 4-0 to extend their unbeaten run to 14 matches.

Winger Edozie poked in a corner before Stuart Armstrong’s third goal of the season, Sekou Mara’s tap-in and Carlos Alcaraz’s finish punished Rovers, who had Callum Brittain sent off after two yellow cards.

Alcaraz also missed a penalty for the hosts but they secured a fifth straight home win for the first time since 2014 and continued their best streak for 39 years.

Southampton boasted 73 per cent of possession in a first half in which Blackburn sat back and tried not to concede. But Saints had little to show for their domination until the 44th-minute goal.

Stuart Armstrong showed nifty footwork before whipping a shot past the post, while Edozie and Will Smallbone caused panic in the box with their quick feet and Sondre Tronstad was forced to head onto the roof of his own goal.

James Bree ran onto a volley, Adam Armstrong charged down goalkeeper Leopold Wahlstedt and Smallbone’s controlled finish from Stuart Armstrong’s cross continued the largely one-way traffic.

The only time that flow changed was in the 24th minute when the visitors won a free-kick on the edge of the Saints box.

Championship top scorer Sammie Szmodics smashed through the wall before Brittain followed up – with both kept out by Gavin Bazunu’s strong wrists.

Edozie had returned to the starting XI for the first time since October after scoring against Coventry in the week.

He rewarded Russell Martin, and capped the authoritative first half, by prodding in a Bree corner on the cusp of half-time.

After Wahlstedt had brilliantly denied Stuart Armstrong, Blackburn showed off their attacking pedigree for the first time as Bazunu had to be cute to save from Andrew Moran and Harry Leonard.

But that momentum was squashed in the 55th minute when Brittain needlessly received his second booking for kicking the ball away, having got his first for a shirt pull on Kyle Walker-Peters.

That only made Southampton’s task easier and nine minutes later, Stuart Armstrong stroked in after Flynn Downes had broken through and been chopped down.

Self-preservation was the name of the last half an hour for Rovers but they could not prevent Southampton’s fresh legs.

Alcaraz’s ‘Panenka’ penalty went over the bar, after Hayden Carter had downed Mara, and Wahlstedt stunningly denied Ryan Fraser.

Saints added gloss to the scoreline in stoppage time as Mara turned in Fraser’s cross and Alcaraz thumped in a rebound after Smallbone had been thwarted.

Saints went level on points with third-placed Leeds and closed the gap to the runaway top two to 10 points.

Sam Allardyce was shown the door as new owners Venky’s made their mark at Blackburn 13 years ago.

Despite Rovers sitting relatively comfortably in 13th place in the Premier League table, the Indian owners made the decision to sack Allardyce on December 13, 2010, a month after taking over.

“We have taken this decision as part of our wider plans and ambitions for the club,” they said in a statement.

Allardyce, who had been in charge for two years and guided the team to a 10th-placed finish in the 2009-10 season, was as surprised as anyone, saying: “I am very shocked and disappointed to be leaving Blackburn.

“I am extremely proud to have managed this club and I enjoyed a fantastic relationship with the players, my staff and the supporters during my time in charge.”

Club captain Ryan Nelsen also reacted with shock and praised the job done by Allardyce, who made his name in management at nearby Bolton.

“We were in massive trouble with no money,” said Nelsen. “He solidified us and put us into a top-10 position, and again he did it on a shoestring.

“We’ve got to get over it but at the moment I want to say, and I can speak for nearly all the players I’m sure, that they will be devastated. He was a very likeable character.”

It was the beginning of a tumultuous period at Ewood Park, with Steve Kean initially placed in temporary charge but then given a permanent contract.

Kean stayed in his post despite Rovers slipping down the table and there were repeated protests by fans against Venky’s, including a chicken clad in a Blackburn flag being released onto the pitch as they were relegated in May 2012.

The club slipped down to Sky Bet League One in 2017, but immediately rebounded and have remained in the second tier since, still under the ownership of Venky’s, with Jon Dahl Tomasson the current boss.

Allardyce returned to management with West Ham the following summer, went on to subsequent jobs that included briefly being England boss and most recently had a short stint in charge of Leeds at the end of last season.

Jon Dahl Tomasson saluted his Blackburn side for “digging in” to secure a 2-1 win over Bristol City.

Rovers were in control after Arnor Sigurdsson’s first goal since October finished off a well-worked 35th-minute move, and Scott Wharton’s second-half header from his brother Adam’s delivery put Rovers two up.

But City fought back and after Mark Sykes slotted home on the hour they dominated proceedings but could not find a way past the outstanding Leo Wahlstedt.

Blackburn move up to eighth and Tomasson was pleased despite admitting it was not his side’s best performance.

He said: “I think the first half we weren’t brave enough. We turned a lot of opportunities down to play forward.

“I know that Bristol were defending really well and kept the pitch compact but we should have played more forward.

“We scored an excellent goal. An extremely clinical finish, what we’ve been missing in the last weeks.

“It was a great goal and a great pass that hurt. We spoke at half-time that we need to do that more. Don’t turn those passes down.

“I think we started extremely well in the second half, scored a well-worked corner. Great to see the whole Wharton family, not only the two boys involved in that goal but also the whole family in the stand.

“When we conceded that goal, it gets a bit nervous and you can see the squad is a bit stretched. The boys were digging in. When you’re not playing that well, it’s always great to get three points.”

Bristol City are winless in four but Liam Manning said they should have taken something from the encounter.

He said: “Obviously the (first) goal knocked us a bit. We got a little emotional after that, felt sorry for ourselves.

“Then to be fair, disappointing to concede off a corner. Subs came on, we scored straight away and I thought actually the last 25-30 showed what we need to be about which is that fight, togetherness, that spirit, intensity in how we work. Just gave ourselves too big a challenge to overcome.

“I think the scoreline takes away some of the context in terms of whether they become a little more passive because they were two ahead.

“I think overall if you were to go on chances, there wasn’t a lot in it for me in terms of areas we got into, chances we created, shots on goal were quite similar, if not we had more on target I believe.

“So yes, I’m always going to sit here and say maybe we should get something out of the game.”

Blackburn moved to within two points of the play-offs with a 2-1 win over Bristol City.

Jon Dahl Tomasson’s men halted a two-game losing streak thanks to Arnor Sigurdsson’s fifth of the campaign in the 35th minute before Scott Wharton’s towering header early in the second half doubled their advantage.

However, they were made to work for the points thanks to a spirited response from the Robins who pulled a goal back in the 60th minute through Mark Sykes’ close-range finish and from there, the visitors were the much better side.

Liam Manning’s side could easily have come away with a share of the spoils but found Blackburn goalkeeper Leo Wahlstedt in inspired form and he made a hat-trick of late saves to thwart Jason Knight.

Rovers remain well placed for a top-six push but while City have only won one of six under Manning, they can take heart from a performance that so nearly produced a fightback.

The Robins frustrated the hosts early on and created the best chances, though Sam Bell’s 10th-minute effort sailed wide of the upright. Tommy Conway almost profited from sloppy play from Adam Wharton but his ferocious effort was too high.

Blackburn were uncharacteristically loose in possession but found their feet and after Sammie Szmodics curled a free-kick just wide, they took the lead 10 minutes before the break with their first flowing move of the game when Adam Wharton’s pass was flicked by Szmodics into Sigurdsson whose touch took him into the area and he casually lifted the ball into the left corner.

It boosted the hosts who finished the half strongly and doubled their advantage in the 52nd minute when Adam Wharton’s deep corner found his brother Scott who rose powerfully to head home at the back post.

The visitors fought back admirably with Conway flashing one just wide soon after before they halved the deficit on the hour.

Taylor Gardner-Hickman pounced on a loose ball before Jason Knight cleverly fed Sykes on the right to slot home from 12 yards for his fourth goal of the season.

It completely changed the complexion of the game and Knight was thwarted three times by Wahlstedt.

First, his low 25-yard drive was parried behind by the sprawling keeper, before a lung-busting Sykes run and cross found the midfielder who swivelled and shot but Wahlstedt was down smartly again to deny him.

Knight went close again with 10 minutes remaining but could only direct his header straight at Sykes and though they kept pressing, City could not force the elusive equaliser.

Daniel Farke praised the “ice cold” finishing of Dan James and Crysencio Summerville after their goals gave Leeds a deserved 2-0 win at Blackburn.

The Championship’s in-form side comfortably brushed aside a spirited Rovers side thanks to clinical strikes, first through James’ fine low 27th-minute effort, and then Summerville’s cool finish – his third in the last four games.

They have dropped just five points in their last 10 games, and they are ominously placed in third, stretching their unbeaten run to seven.

Farke was pleased with all aspects of the performance, and was delighted with how his team took their chances.

He said: “Two really good possession sides played against each other and you have to accept that both sides will have their spells where they dominate the game in possession, but also to be especially switched on in the moments when you win the ball to be there and use quick counter attacks and this is what we did more or less for both goals.

“Good winning of the ball before the first goal, Sam Byram, before the second Ethan Ampadu and then to play two times, really good football, really good counter attacks, especially the second goal was a great, great team goal, and also ice-cold finishes from James and Summerville. I’m pretty happy with this.

“I’m especially pleased that we travel back today with a clean sheet against a really good and dangerous side. We didn’t allow them to have much. They had their spells in possession but in terms of big chances, there was not too much. It was important after a few weeks where we have conceded one goal, sometimes even two goals, today to return absolutely rock solid defence with a clean sheet. It’s a really good performance and a massive win for us. I’m pretty delighted.”

Blackburn missed the chance to move into the play-offs after losing a second consecutive game and though Jon Dahl Tomasson was pleased with his side’s performance, he said Leeds were more clinical.

He said: “We’re extremely disappointed to lose the game. I think overall it was an excellent performance from my team against a very good squad, a Premier League squad with a lot of good players. We all know how good Leeds are in transitions. They scored two goals in transitions.

“I think the difference with the two teams was the clinical things. We probably got into better areas than the opponent, but played against a very good side. I think my players did a good job.

“We shouldn’t forget that of course this is a very good side. I said it before the game, I think they will get automatically promoted. They should as well. We know how difficult it is to cope with those transition moments and the quality which they have. But still I thought we were in the game for a long time. Second half actually, I think we were the much better side.

“I think we got into very good areas where we were not connected well enough in the final third. But they were just a little more clinical, and of course quality.”

Leeds kept up the pressure on the Championship’s top two with an impressive 2-0 win at Blackburn.

In a test of their credentials against a vibrant home side, Daniel Farke’s men passed with flying colours, and a goal in each half did the damage.

Dan James scored for the third game in succession to fire the visitors into a deserved lead and with Blackburn searching for an equaliser, Crysencio Summerville’s dinked finish 15 minutes from time sealed the points.

Even more impressive is that they limited Rovers to precious few chances, with Illan Meslier denying Arnor Sigurdsson late on.

The victory is Leeds’ sixth in the last seven and the league’s form side are well placed to pounce, should Ipswich or Leicester slip up.

It is a fifth home defeat in seven for Blackburn, who are still well placed for a play-off push but their Ewood form is a concern.

The hosts started brightly without testing Meslier but Leeds were soon into their stride, with Summerville lashing wide when a corner was cleared to him. They went closer in the 18th minute when Joel Piroe’s 20-yard free-kick took a wicked deflection but landed just wide of the right post, much to Blackburn’s relief.

Leeds spurned a glorious chance when Summerville dispossessed Hayden Carter and the ball found Georginio Rutter six yards out but he clipped the ball wide with the goalkeeper to beat.

He made amends in the 27th minute when he powered forward and shrugged off James Hill before finding James on the right who drilled the ball unerringly into the bottom left corner for his seventh of the season.

James flashed an inviting ball across the face of goal soon after, but Rutter could not get on the end of it, while at the other end, Sammie Szmodics headed over a Hill cross.

Blackburn wanted a penalty just after the restart when Andrew Moran’s cross struck Pascal Struijk’s arm but Bobby Madley waved the protests away. From the resulting corner, Szmodics fired wide when the ball felt to him 25 yards out.

But Leeds carried an almighty threat on the break and Wilfried Gnonto was denied a 73rd-minute goal thanks to an outstanding piece of goalkeeping from Leo Wahlstedt who brilliantly tipped his powerful strike over after it took a deflection.

The reprieve was brief as Leeds sealed victory in the 75th minute with a flowing move that saw Archie Gray exchange passes with Rutter before his first-time ball found Summerville in the area and he was coolness personified, lifting the ball over Wahlstedt.

Meslier made a tremendous save moments later, tipping Sigurdsson’s header over, but Leeds comfortably saw the game out, sending the 7,500 travelling fans home happy.

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