Blackburn manager Steve Kean praised his side's powers of recovery after they withstood a late Queen's Park Rangers comeback to earn three valuable points which actually moved them out of the relegation zone after Wolves' 5-1 thrashing yesterday.
Rovers came into the match off a 7-1 hammering at Arsenal the previous week and Kean was delighted with the response. "We worked really hard on trying to get pressure on the ball and making sure we could hold high lines, and in the first half we were brilliant," he enthused.
The home side coasted into a three-goal lead, the returning Yakubu opening the scoring before Steven Nzonzi and a Nedum Onuoha own goal strengthened the lead. Substitute Jamie Mackie scored twice in the final 20 minutes as Mark Hughes' side rallied, but Blackburn held firm to record their fourth home win of the season.
"We had Yakubu's chance to go to 4-0, and I felt after that that QPR thought they didn't really have anything to lose, so they started throwing all sorts at it," Kean continued. "They changed their shape, went very offensive and I think once the first goal went in, we had a bit of a wobble and got a little bit nervous – which is understandable considering how many young players we have got in the team."
Hughes felt his side deserved more for their efforts after the break as they fired in 25 shots. "In the second half I can't really fault the effort, desire and belief to try to get something out of the game," he said. "You can't give yourself that much to do, though."
Blackburn: ROBINSON 6/10; ORR 6; DANN 6; HANLEY 5; MARTIN OLSSON 6; PEDERSEN 5; LOWE 6; NZONZI 7; FORMICA 6; HOILETT 7; YAKUBU 7
QPR: KENNY 6; TAIWO 6; FERDINAND 6; HALL 5; ONUOHA 6; TRAORE 5; BUZSAKY 6; BARTON 6; WRIGHTPHILLIPS 6; ZAMORA 6; TAARABT 6
Scorers: Blackburn Rovers Yakubu 15, Nzonzi 23, Onuoha og 45 Queen's Park Rangers Mackie 71, 90
Substitutes: Blackburn Henley 6 (Hoilett, 50), Modeste 5 (Formica, 66), Goodwillie (Yakubu, 90). QPR Mackie 7 (Buzsaky, 66), Gabbidon (Hall, 90).
Booked: Blackburn Lowe. QPR Mackie.
Man of the match Nzonzi. Match rating 7/10.
Possession: Blackburn 40% QPR 60%.
Attempts on target: Blackburn 5 QPR 13.
Referee M Dean (Wirral) Attendance 20,252.