Share this story
Blackburn captain Charlie Mulgrew has urged the squad to show character and insists they are devastated after falling to an opening day defeat at the hands of Southend.
Rovers, who are priced at 5.50 to win the League One title this season, travelled to Roots Hall on Saturday to kick off their League One campaign but came away on the wrong end of a 2-1 loss.
Ryan Leonard opened the scoring for Southend before Michael Kightly doubled their lead before the end of the first half.
Mulgrew reduced the deficit early in the second half with an excellent free-kick but the Lancashire club failed to complete the comeback.
Boss Tony Mowbray was hugely critical of his men after a disappointing afternoon and Mulgrew insists the squad were devastated.
The 31-year-old expects their 2017-18 campaign to be a battle and has called on his team mates to show their character and bounce back when they welcome Doncaster to Ewood Park on Saturday.
“We are devastated, the changing room was gutted,” said Mulgrew. “But we are going to have to learn from it and move on.
“We were well aware coming in to the game what it was going to be like but we needed a test like for it to really hit home.
“If we didn’t realise it, we do now, we’re in for a fight and we need to win the battle first this year.
“He (the manager) had a go at us and rightly so, we need to step it up and be counted and show a bit of character.”