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Tony Mowbray urges Blackburn to roll sleeves up and fight for wins

Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray has urged his players to roll up their sleeves and fight for wins after witnessing an “unrecognisable” performance in suffering a 1-0 Sky Bet Championship defeat at Birmingham.

French defender Maxime Colin’s first goal for 19 months was enough to extend Rovers’ winless league run to five matches and leave Mowbray without a victory at St Andrew’s in five attempts against five different managers.

“We lost the game in the first half,” said Mowbray. “I didn’t recognise the team in that half. We were really, really, really poor.

“We didn’t compete as well as we have. I haven’t seen for a few years a team of mine that doesn’t compete.

“In the first half we had to roll our sleeves up, and I didn’t see that, so the first half was really frustrating for me.

“The second half was better. At least we were there in the fight, and we could have nicked something. We had a few chances, but overall I’m really disappointed.”

With the Championship as wide open as ever this season, Mowbray added: “I’ve talked this team up this year.

“I believe we’ve a good team, good players, and this league is there for anybody, to get into the top six at least.

“You’ve got Leeds and the Baggies (West Brom), but I think there are three or four places for anybody to grab in the play-offs, and we were hoping that would be us.

“So you have to come to places, mid-table teams like Birmingham City, and get wins, to not get beat, and unfortunately we haven’t.”

Mowbray is convinced his team “are more than capable of winning three or four games on the bounce” but is demanding they dig in and scrap on occasion.

“I’ve said to the players that they have to find a way to win matches,” stated Mowbray.

“Sometimes you have to fight for that, sometimes you play lovely football, cut teams open, get behind them, score goals and think ‘Wow! Aren’t we good’.

“But not every game is like that. Sometimes you have to roll your sleeves up and we fell a bit short of that here.”

The Blues are now three points adrift of the top six after a fourth win from their last five at home, yet manager Pep Clotet is wary of suggesting his team are good enough to claim a play-off spot.

Clotet said: “At the end of the day I don’t know if we have what is required to be in the play-offs.

“But what I do know is that if something can be done better, then I push that onto the staff, we grow it and we prove it.

“What we have is our football, everyone is committed to it, so let’s go game by game and we will see where we finish.”