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Gary targets Capital victory

4 August 2013

Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer has his Championship team focused on Capital One Cup progress at League 1 Carlisle

A testing start to Blackburn Rovers’ Sky Bet Championship campaign will not deter manager Gary Bowyer from sending his team out with only victory in mind at League 1 Carlisle United in Wednesday’s Capital One Cup first round tie.

Rovers battled to a hard-fought 1-1 draw in their opening League fixture at Derby County on Sunday and this coming Saturday entertain Nottingham Forest, one of the favourites for promotion to the Premier League, at Ewood Park.

Meanwhile, Carlisle lost 5-1 at home to Leyton Orient on Saturday, but in the Capital One Cup last season they knocked Championship club Ipswich Town out of the competition while Blackburn went out to League 1 Milton Keynes Dons.

So the trip to Brunton Park is no easy fixture, says Bowyer as he prepares for his second game as Blackburn’s permanent team boss following two caretaker spells in a 2012/13 campaign which saw a number of managerial changes at the club.

“We’ve got another tough League game on Saturday,” he said, “and a difficult game at Carlisle, but I’ve been brought up to believe that you want to win every game in every competition you enter – and that’s the mindset we’ll be going with.

“After the effort we put in at Derby we’ll have to re-group, because you work hard in pre-season and then all of a sudden you’ve got three games in a week. So with a good squad, a big squad, we’ll be sensible about selection.”

Since taking charge on a permanent basis in the close season Bowyer has significantly strengthened and expanded the Lancashire club’s playing squad, bringing 11 new signings to Ewood Park. 

After a 17th-place finish last term, Rovers’ first in the Championship following relegation after an 11-year tenure in the Premier League, the manager has worked hard to set the club on a firm footing as they look for a top flight return.

Not that he is promising hopeful supporters a quick fix. “The rebuilding work in the summer has been about stability,” said Bowyer. “We’ve got to rebuild slowly – it’s going to take patience, it’s going to take time.

“We made a promising start with our performance at Derby, there was a lot to be positive about looking to the rest of the season. But we won’t get carried away with the way we played on Sunday.

“I’m fully aware of how difficult this League is, and I think it’s got stronger this year. We’re going to have to take it game by game – I know that’s a cliche, but that’s how we’re going to have to do it.”

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