Even with the competitive nature of the Championship, few people would have felt that it was realistic for Bournemouth to record just one win in six matches after such a commanding start under Scott Parker.
However, while they would have been happy enough with last week’s 1-1 draw at leaders Fulham, the Cherries have dropped off the pace of late, close to being hauled in by the chasing pack.
Although the gap to third-placed West Bromwich Albion still stands at six points, momentum is everything, and Bournemouth have very little in comparison to the clubs in the playoffs.
They have failed to post a victory from a winning position in their last four games, defeat at Derby County being followed by stalemates with Millwall, Coventry City and Fulham.
Dominic Solanke continues to score with regularity, the England international now having 17 strikes this campaign, but Parker will be desperate for his backline to get back on track having kept just one clean sheet since the start of November.
Of all the teams that Bournemouth would not have wanted to play this week, Blackburn would have been at the top of the list with Rovers having emerged as the form team in the division.
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Since the 7-0 capitulation to Fulham, Tony Mowbray’s side have collected 13 points from a possible 15, only conceding two goals in the process.
As many as 326 minutes have passed by since their defence was last breached, and Mowbray will see the benefits of his players showing character in successive 1-0 wins over Stoke City and Preston North End.
While it has not hindered them on any level this season, Blackburn have not scored a goal beyond the 75th minute since September 25, a streak lasting 12 matches