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Tony Mowbray concerned over Ian Poveda as winger taken to hospital

Leeds United v Manchester City – Premier League – Elland Road
(Image credit: Paul Ellis)

Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray expressed concern over Ian Poveda after the young winger was stretchered off during the 1-1 draw at Bristol City.

The 21-year-old Leeds loanee urgently summoned assistance when going down in the centre of the pitch shortly before half-time.

Mowbray was encouraged by the second-half improvement that saw Ben Brereton-Diaz fire his 14th goal of the season to cancel out Callum O’Dowda’s deflected 34th-minute strike for City.

But, while the Rovers boss felt Daniel Ayala’s display as replacement for Poveda was pivotal in the fightback, his thoughts were with his stricken youngster.

Mowbray said: “Normally, we would have taken Ian back with us on the coach, but he was in a lot of discomfort, so we have sent him off to hospital.

“We will probably need to wait a day or two to assess the injury, but it looks like ligament damage.

“I was thinking of putting Ayala on earlier because we were struggling with their physical threat and direct approach.

“Once he went on that changed and we were able to pose problems ourselves in the second half.

“Ben Brereton-Diaz deserves all the superlatives being said about him this season. He has been away with Chile’s squad working with world class players, but there is not a hint of the big-timer about him.

“I love working with him because he is such a nice kid. Today he has had one goal narrowly ruled out for offside and come up with a tremendous finish.

“In the end we deserved a point. They will cause a lot of teams problems with long-throws and other set-pieces and we stood up to them a lot better in the second half.”

City almost won it when Nahki Wells, just on as a substitute, saw an 84th-minute header brilliantly saved by Thomas Kaminski.

But boss Nigel Pearson, back at the helm following illness, was left frustrated by his team’s failure to profit more from a sparkling first-half display.

“The performance showed where we are as a team. We probably should have been out of sight by half time,” he said.

“Not enough of the chances we create are being finished and that leaves us open to paying for one mistake at the back, which happened today.

“We are relying heavily on a lot of young players. That is the club’s policy and one I endorse as manager.

“There were a lot of positives to take from the game, including the fact that we responded well to their goal.

“That hasn’t always been the case. But today we rallied and looked more likely to win than lose in the closing stages.”

Teenage midfielder Ayman Benarous received a standing ovation from home fans when his first City start ended with a 64th-minute substitution.

Pearson added: “I thought Joe Williams and Ayman were very good in the middle of the park for us.

“Callum O’Dowda adapted well to a new role (left wing-back) and is eager to take on the challenge.

“He hasn’t been available to me all that much since I came here because of injuries, so it was great to see him get on the scoresheet.

“I thought our fans were brilliant, even in the second half when we were not so much on top, and there are signs of progress.”