Danny Graham has revealed the very simple game plan Blackburn decided on before the Newcastle match.
The former Sunderland striker said that Blackburn decided to repeat the tactics they used at St James Park and to ‘let them have the ball’.
That helped produce a 1-0 win on Tyneside when Newcastle dominated with 66% possession but created just two chances on target and no goals, Blackburn scoring with one of their two on-target efforts.
Monday afternoon saw Newcastle increase that to 67% possession and a moderate rise to five efforts on target, though once again no goals for the Magpies and another 1-0 win to Blackburn with their only shot on target.
You can hardly count on three shots on goal in three hours of football bringing six points but they did prove that all that possession for Newcastle doesn’t automatically equal goal(s).
In Blackburn’s other 23 Championship games this season they have only kept one other clean sheet (goalless draw at home to Ipswich) and have conceded more than all but two other teams – so their clever plan against Newcastle obviously hasn’t worked too often on other occasions.
“We went to Huddersfield and had a game plan which almost worked (Huddersfield equalised in added time).
“So to come and back it up with another great performance against a strong Newcastle team can hopefully kick start our season.
“It is a fresh start, it is a new year and hopefully we can have a good 2017 together.
“We had a game plan (v Newcastle) to let them have the ball, but I think we have always shown that we are capable of scoring goals so if we can keep it tight then we are always confident that we can nick one and it has worked for us.
“It was a great free-kick, we needed something and he (Charlie Mulgrew) has popped up.
“He was solid at the back as well, he and Gordon Greer, and Steely made a couple of saves when called upon. It was a real team effort and very pleasing.”