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Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray defends tactics after QPR defeat

The visitors dominated the contest in west London but lost to a Yoann Barbet goal.

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray defended his tactics after the 1-0 defeat at QPR.

The visitors dominated the Sky Bet Championship contest but Yoann Barbet's goal gave Rangers the points.

Mowbray, who fears Lewis Holtby faces another lengthy spell out after seemingly suffering a recurrence of a knee injury, opted to play top scorer Adam Armstrong on the left-hand side with the intention of attacking right-sided centre-back Rob Dickie.

Sam Gallagher played from the right and Harvey Elliott was deployed as a so-called false nine.

"It's my prerogative to pick a team the way I want to play," Mowbray said.

"You play strengths against perceived weaknesses. Dickie's a very good footballer but can't run like Armstrong can run.

"You put speed against no speed and I think we damaged them. We got into some great areas, we just didn't take the chances.

"It's what you do; you wouldn't put your super-fast striker against their fastest defender. You put him where their slowest defender is. If he has to move a little bit to do that, that's what you do.

"We tried to expose the lack of mobility of both central defenders of QPR. We put our speed and power against them. It didn't work because we didn't score a goal.

"You could say 'what's he doing? Why didn't he play Armstrong down the middle? He might have scored three today.'

"But we might not have created any chances and might have lost 2-0. We picked the formation we did and that was why we did it.

"It's not rocket science. I'm not creating a new football formation."

Holtby, who had surgery a year ago, had to be taken off 16 minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute.

Mowbray explained: "It looks like it's his lateral knee ligament again – the same one he had an operation on. It's frustrating for him.

"We'll wait and see. He'll have a scan. Hopefully it's not as long as he was out last time. He's a bit down in the dressing room."

QPR manager Mark Warburton was relieved to see his team finally pick up a home win.

They had gone five home games without scoring, lost three consecutive games on their own patch and five of their past six.

"We've had some good performances here and not won," Warburton said.

"We've been working really hard as a team and the players deserve so much credit for that.

"It's about getting your rewards. We got a scrappy goal – that's no goal of the month contender, that's for sure. But it's an important three points.

"This division is all about consistency. If you can get some wins you can go from 18th to eighth very quickly.

"That was a typical Championship game. It wasn't pretty at times.

"So many games are decided by the odd goal. You don't see too many threes, fours and fives going in, because teams work each other out.

"Two teams who like to play football I felt negated each other. But it was a game you have to win.

"Blackburn are a tough team and Tony deserves credit for the squad he's assembled. That's a big win for QPR."

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Famara Diedhiou celebrates scoring for Bristol City against Huddersfield Town in the Championship on January 26, 2021
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Friday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

ROWING
· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

SWIMMING
· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

TRAMPOLINE
· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

CANOE SLALOM
· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

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· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

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