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COYLE’S MULGREW FEAR

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UNDER-PRESSURE Blackburn boss Owen Coyle insists he won’t rush Charlie Mulgrew back into action.

The former Celtic defender came off the subs’ bench in the second-half of Rovers’ 1-0 defeat at Bristol City at the weekend.

Mulgrew, 30, who joined the Ewood Park side in the summer after coming out of contract at Parkhead, is still striving for full fitness.

The versatile performer also made a brief appearance in Tuesday’s game against Nottingham Forest which was his first action since lasting just over 30 minutes on his debut against Queens Park Rangers.

Coyle said: “We’ve got Charlie fit and he’s training really well, but he’s not got games under his belt.

“We are trying to slowly introduce him and get him game time, but we also know that he’s a player you want in there because he makes a difference to the team.

“What we need from Charlie is that when he comes into the team we need a sustained period from him, not one or two games.

“If you throw him in and he’s out for six to eight weeks, it’s been for nothing.

“You just have to be smart about how you go about getting Charlie to that level where he’s ready to play week in, week out.”

The Scotland international came on in the 49th minute and saw Aaron Wilbraham strike the only goal of the game late on. The 37-year-old striker ran on to a long clearance and steered a shot past keeper Jason Steele in the 88th minute and Mulgrew was booked a minute later.

Coyle’s team are now third from the bottom of the Championship, a point above Gary Caldwell’s Wigan on 12 points and six ahead of struggling Rotherham who sacked Alan Stubbs in midweek.

The Rovers gaffer admitted: “I am gutted for the players and our travelling supporters. A performance like that would normally earn you three points, let alone one.

“We should have been ahead at half-time and my only concern is the small errors that can make all the difference in a close game.

“The goal came from our corner and one long ball forward after we concede a free-kick. We should have defended the situation better, but it was still an unfortunate deflection.

“I can’t recall Jason Steele having to make a difficult save. The level of performance was so high and it’s a huge disappointment to come away with nothing.”

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