Blackburn Rovers boss Tony Mowbray hails Leeds United's supporters after 'proper' clash at Ewood Park
Tony Mowbray hailed the influence of Leeds United's supporters in igniting "the game that we all love" after a "proper" friendly at Blackburn Rovers.
Wednesday's contest saw away fans back at Ewood Park for the first time in 17 months now that restrictions in the country's battle against coronavirus have finally been lifted.
Up until this week, a Whites contingent last took their place in the stands of another team's ground in the 4-0 victory at Hull City back in February 2020.
But Leeds sold out their full allocation of around 5,000 tickets for Wednesday's clash at Blackburn and Rovers boss Mowbray said United's travelling fans helped light up Ewood Park as part of a 1-1 draw.
"It was a proper game wasn't it?" said Mowbray to Rovers TV.
"It was obviously Leeds fans creating an atmosphere and it always helps our supporters if they have got something to cheer against or to sing songs at I suppose, especially when we go 1-0 up.
"It creates an atmosphere.
"It's the game we all love and it was good.
"It was a proper pre-season friendly. It felt like a match day atmosphere."
After a goalless first half, Championship side Rovers went ahead in the 73rd minute when a direct free-kick from Connor McBride took a big deflection to beat 'keeper Illan Meslier.
But Leeds ensured they left with a draw when Pascal Struik slotted home via another deflection nine minutes from time.
"There were a lot of young players on the pitch for us and we challenged them to go and test themselves against some Premier League stars," said Mowbray.
“I thought they applied themselves really well and I couldn’t ask any more of them.
“We tried to play and had only spent a day or so working on the system because I’ve spent the last week-and-a-bit working off Zoom calls.
“Marcelo doesn’t change his system too much, we knew they would play with one pivot and push their two midfielders on really high.
“We thought it was best to string five defenders across there."
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Thank you Laura Collins