Blackburn Rovers: A side fighting for survival

With only nine league games to go, Blackburn Rovers are fighting for survival on and off the pitch.

The club, which sits 18th in the Championship table, have been on one of their worst runs since the 2016/17 season, when they finished 22nd and were relegated to League One.

Relegation possibility for Rovers this year is high, with the side set to face the likes of Ipswich, Southampton, Leeds and league leaders Leicester on the final day of the season. It will take some incredible performances on the pitch to avoid relegation.

Rovers sit 18th in the table, only three points from relegation

First up on their run is Middlesbrough away. Rovers are yet to see a win under new manager John Eustance. With the wonders he worked at Birmingham, it is surprising to see the struggles of a manager who was flying high with a team that now sits below Blackburn in the table.  

If Eustance is able to win on Saturday, it could be a key turning point in what is a vital run for the club. Fans, on the other hand, have a different view. Many have already been calling for the sack despite only overseeing Rovers officially since Birmingham was away back in February.

After the Plymouth draw, fans took to X to voice their frustration, one fan said: “We’re going down. They’re stealing a living at this stage. We made Plymouth look like prime Barcelona. Wasn’t great at the end under JDT, and Eustace has managed to make them worse. Needs sacking.”

Another said: “I thought Eustace was a good appointment, but how wrong I was!! Sack him now and let Johnson take us to the end of the season because we’re down already.”

Top goalscorer Sammie Szmodics will be relied upon heavily as he has been all season. The 28-year-old has had a campaign to remember, scoring 21 goals in the Championship. The forward will need to be at his best from now to the end in order to give Rovers a chance to stay up.

Since the second division was rebranded to the Championship in 2003, no club has ever been relegated from the Championship to League One when the club have the top goalscorer in the league.

Szmodics added to his impressive goal tally in a 1-1 draw against Plymouth Argyle

Blackburn’s next five fixtures include:

Middlesbrough (Away) Saturday 16th March

Ipswich Town (Home) Friday 29th March

Sunderland (Away) Monday 1st April

Southampton (Home) Saturday 6th April

Bristol City (Away) Wednesday 10th April

Leeds (Away) Saturday 13th April

Sheffield Wednesday (Home) Saturday 20th April

Coventry (Home) Saturday 27th April

Leicester (Away) Saturday 4th May

Two teams are in the automatic positions, and another two are in the playoffs for the Premier League. Blackburn could not have asked for a harder campaign to the end of the season. With Leicester leading the way, Rovers could have one of the hardest and most important final games at the King Power Stadium, which can only be fueled with drama from teams in the relegation zone.

So, will Rovers stay up? Only time will tell.