Erol Bulut: ‘We need to be more focussed, sharp and aggressive’
Blackburn boss Jon Dahl Tomasson lauded keeper Leo Wahlstedt for the “top-class save” that earned his team their first back-to-back Championship wins of the season following a 1-0 home triumph over Cardiff.
The 24-year-old, who won his first senior cap for Sweden earlier this year, got his right glove to a powerful drive from Bluebirds’ substitute Ollie Tanner in the game’s dying embers.
It was a big moment for the 6ft 3in keeper, who was starting only his fourth EFL fixture following a summer move from Norwegian outfit Odd Grenland, as his heroics ensured Joe Rankin-Costello’s 53rd-minute strike bagged all three points.
An impressed Tomasson said: “Leo made a brilliant save late on to make sure we won the game. It can be quite difficult as a keeper when your team are in control, then suddenly you’re facing a shot, but it was a top-class save and it was a brilliant win against a very good Cardiff side, who are tough to play against.
“It can be difficult after an international break to get started again, but we had an excellent win before it at QPR and backed that up in front of our own fans. The back-to-back wins should give us confidence, as should consecutive clean sheets.
“We have been giving unnecessary chances away before and, if you do that with the opponents you come up against in this league, they can score goals against you. It wasn’t the best game we have played and we were a little bit slow on the ball.
“We needed to go forward with a bit more speed but we spoke at half-time about getting runs in behind them, so it was really pleasing to see how we scored our goal. The boys also had to dig in to win, but we could have scored more goals because I thought we had five good chances and it was a well-deserved win.”
Cardiff had earlier seen Dimitrios Goutas’ first-half header ruled out as Karlan Grant was stood in an offside position and deemed to be obstructing Wahlstedt’s view of the ball.
Whether Wahlstedt would have got anywhere near the powerful effort was highly debatable but away manager Erol Bulut agreed with Tomasson that it was the right decision.
His only argument was why it took the officials so long to chalk it off.
The Cardiff chief said: “I spoke with the referee after the game and all the officials said it was offside, but the linesman did not seem to know that at the time. I think, for him, it was a clear goal because why did it take him 30 seconds to put his flag up?
“But, after the game, I watched it back and he was offside. It was just a bit strange how they got to that decision.”
Bulut was more displeased with the manner in which his side defended for Rankin-Costello’s decisive strike.
“It was a game between two teams that didn’t create many chances and always looked like one in which the first side that scored would go on to win,” he said.
“We had more shots on goal than they did, but they scored from a small mistake by us, which was down to our concentration and communication not being good enough down the middle of the pitch.
“We have to be more focussed, sharp and aggressive in those situations and areas of the pitch. In the last 20 minutes, we tried hard to score, but it wasn’t enough.”
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