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Tony Mowbray salutes 10-man Blackburn’s comeback to earn draw at Brentford

Brentford v Blackburn Rovers – Sky Bet Championship – Brentford Community Stadium
(Image credit: Tess Derry)

Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray hailed his 10 men after they “flicked the trigger” to earn a smash and grab draw at fellow form side Brentford.

The straight-talking Rovers boss lost centre backs Scott Wharton to injury and Darragh Lenihan to a straight red card in the first half.

Joe Rothwell gave his side the lead but Ivan Toney’s 14th of the season from the spot and Sergi Canos’ rising drive gave the Bees the advantage until Jacob Davenport scored with Rovers’ only attempt on goal after the break.

Mowbray, whose side had won their last three, said: “We’re happy with a point in the end but, if we’d kept our players on the pitch, I think we’d have been on for three.

“We were dominant for long spells and the team in the ascendancy and looked like we could score more.”

With everything going against them before the break, Mowbray told his players to keep it tight at the break and bide their time.

“We always felt that if we kept it to two, we’d be in with a chance. Brentford are a top team, a club with identity who pass the ball well through the lines, and we had to frustrate them,” he said.

“Our plan was to go on the front foot for the last 10 and change the intensity. And it worked.”

He added: “Second half we managed the game pretty well and deserved the point for the work ethic in the team.

“They didn’t take their opportunities and we got the equaliser late on when we changed intensity and flicked the trigger.”

Mowbray revealed Wharton suffered a serious achilles injury but was furious with the red card for skipper Lenihan.

“I’m not sure that was a sending off. It was two guys going for the ball with arms across each other. It spoiled the game.

“I’m not sure the ref knew what he was doing most of the game, but the result is a result and we move on.”

Bees Head Coach Thomas Frank defended the tactics that saw his side fail to put 10-man Blackburn to the sword.

“If we win 2-1 everyone is happy and says it’s great game management and the five substitutions mean we have fresh legs for the rest of this compacted, relentless and physical league,” he said.

“They are a very good side and they started on top for the first 20 minutes, but we bounced back from their early goal and showed initiative, personality and character.”

Brentford were camped in the Rovers half for the second 45 but squandered chances to put the game to bed, with Frank admitting: “Maybe we were a little passive.

“I agree that we didn’t play as positively after going ahead, but if Blackburn hadn’t scored then everyone would have been very happy with that approach.”

The draw means Brentford are now nine games unbeaten and Frank added: “I understand this result will be disappointing for the fans and the boys are disappointed and angry too, but there were positives.

“It was great to see Sergi Canos back and on fire. He’s been out for a year but is the fittest he’s ever been in his career now so that goal will give him a lot of confidence.”