Football League World
·25 September 2023
Football League World
·25 September 2023
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A Saturday afternoon trip to Portman Road to face Ipswich Town proved to be a rather frustrating one for Blackburn Rovers.
Trailing 1-0 inside the opening five minutes, the visitors then equalised through debutant Arnor Sigurdsson, only for Ipswich to re-establish a 3-1 lead before half time.
Rovers would again fight back to level the game at 3-3, only for a Massimo Luongo strike with just over ten minutes of normal time remaining to snatch a 4-3 victory for the hosts.
While the visitors will feel that they may have deserved to take something from that game, and that it was individual errors that ultimately cost them in East Anglia, the fact of the matter is that it is now three defeats in four league games for Rovers, with 11 goals conceded in that time.
That is a run that has seen them slip 14th in the current Championship standings, and on this sort of form, a repeat of last season's push for the play-offs - where they only missed out on goal difference on the final day of the campaign - does seem some way away.
However, it is not just in terms of the result that there will have been a sense of frustration and concern for Rovers as they departed Portman Road on Saturday evening.
Having been introduced from the substitutes bench at half time at Portman Road on Saturday, Ryan Hedges was unable to make much of an impact for Blackburn in that match.
The winger managed just nine minutes on the pitch during that game, before he was forced off with an injury issue of his own.
Speaking about that blow after the game, Rovers head coach Jon Dahl Tomasson would reveal that he fears Hedges is now facing a "while" with an apparent hamstring injury.
As a result, it now seems as though the Ewood Park club will be out one of their wide options for quite some time, news that could make the deal Blackburn seemingly failed to complete on the final day of this summer's transfer window, a rather costly one.
The final hours of this summer's transfer window proved to be rather busy at Ewood Park, in terms of both incomings and outgoings.
After centre back James Hill joined on a season-long loan from Bournemouth in the hours leading up to deadline day, the Ewood Park club then completed the permanent signing of striker Semir Telalovic from Borussia Monchengladbach on deadline day.
Meanwhile, the final day of the market would also see both John Buckley and Jack Vale leave Rovers on loan, joining Sheffield Wednesday and Lincoln City respectively on a temporary basis.
However, things could have been even busier for Blackburn on deadline day. Speaking after market had closed, the club's Director of Football, Gregg Broughton, revealed that the club had also completed a medical to sign a right winger on loan from a club in the Bundesliga, only for financial issues to cause that deal to fall through.
With that evidently a position Blackburn were keen to strengthen, and given the lack of depth there appeared to be in their squad, missing out on any such additional incoming was always going to be frustrating for the club, and in this case, that now seems to have been enhanced even further.
Given it now looks as though Hedges is going to be out for a considerable period of time, Rovers are now going to be an option down in that right-wing position - where the Welshman has played during the majority of his time with the club - for the foreseeable future.
Consequently, the fact they missed out on a signing in that position even before Hedges suffered that blow may now be tough to take for Blackburn, since they know that had they been able to get that deal done on deadline day, they would have had greater depth required to cope with the 28-year-old's absence.
As it is, there is no more pressure on those within an already small squad, to fill the void on the right of the club's attack as well, than had that deal gone through.
It is also worth noting that at 28-years-old, Hedges is the oldest senior player in the Rovers squad. That is experience is something else Rovers may miss in his absence, and having an extra presence in the building had that deal gone through, may have also helped the club cope with that, not least if the winger they were due to get, is one who has himself been around for some time.
There was no denying that Saturday was already a tough day for Blackburn in terms of the result at Portman Road.
Now though, what happened to Hedges in that game, will have also added what some further insult to injury, with regards to what will have no doubt already been a source of disappointment for the club around deadline day and that deal they were ultimately unable to get over the line, that now looks as though it could have been more important than ever.