Sky Bet Championship: Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer hails best performance
Gary Bowyer toasted the most complete performance of his Blackburn reign with a 2-0 win over QPR.
Last Updated: 08/04/14 11:18pm
Goals from Rudy Gestede and Tommy Spurr meant Rovers ran out 2-0 winners over Rangers to take their unbeaten run to seven games and move them four points behind sixth-placed Reading. There is still a quartet of teams between the two, though, meaning the final five games are likely to see numerous twists in the play-off race.
Rangers themselves are slipping back into that mix after this loss at Ewood Park ensured Blackburn's bitter rivals Burnley could seal second spot this weekend.
However, while they may have inadvertently assisted their east Lancashire neighbours' quest, Bowyer's mind is firmly focused on his own team's run-in.
Asked if that was their best performance of the season, Bowyer said: "I think so, yes, for the full 90.
"We've had some impressive halves and spells in games but for a complete 90 minutes we were excellent and the players deserve all the credit.
"Everybody from start to finish, they were right at it and they were truly a credit to their football club tonight against a tough team."
Reading's loss at Bournemouth gave each of the chasing pack the opportunity to close the gap and with Ipswich and Brighton both winning, as well as Nottingham Forest picking up a point, Blackburn still have a host of teams between them and the play-off zone.
"Looking at the games tonight and the results, you wouldn't have been able to predict that," Bowyer admitted.
"The craziness of the Championship has got five games left so I'm sure it'll spin out loads of different permutations throughout them."
Bowyer was coy when asked about injuries after the match with 23-goal striker Jordan Rhodes substituted in the second half following a succession of knocks.
The Scotland international appeared to head off down the tunnel when withdrawn, and Bowyer said: "There's one or two (knocks). We'll see tomorrow morning, it wouldn't be Blackburn Rovers without a game finishing with an injury."
QPR assistant manager Kevin Bond admitted defeat in their pursuit of Burnley with Sean Dyche's men now 13 points clear of them with only 15 points left to play for.
"I think so," Bond said when asked whether automatic promotion was a step too far.
"I think we probably thought that it was going to be nigh on impossible for us before this evening. Obviously we just want to go into the latter part of the season in as good as form as we can and try and get a bit of momentum.
"Everyone knows how important it is in the most important part of the season and hopefully that will culminate in a play-off spot."
In truth, the visitors were architects of their own downfall. Gestede was allowed lots of space to fire in a ninth-minute opener while goalkeeper Rob Green evoked memories of his World Cup gaffe in 2010 by allowing Spurr's shot to sneak in past his near post.
However, Bond called on the R's to brush off back-to-back losses and the disappointment of failing to catch Burnley.
"We need to make sure we make the play-offs," he added.
"There are sides outside the play-off spots showing great form and that happens every year. One, more than one, will come with a great run and if they creep into the play-offs last game you have to be aware of them.
"At the moment, we just need to get our own house in order in terms of getting everybody fit and well so we can get everyone available for the manager to be able to pick his best side for the last few games of the season and, hopefully, going into the play-offs."