sport

Appleton welcomes warm-up

Blackburn boss Michael Appleton said his side's 1-1 draw with Brighton was the perfect preparation for their FA Cup clash at Arsenal on Saturday.

A second-half penalty from Vicente rescued a point for the hosts after defender Scott Dann had headed Rovers ahead against the run of play midway through the first half.

"It's an ideal warm-up. We'll have to concede a lot of territory against Arsenal but we want to be part of an attractive tie," said Appleton.

"Our quality was not a good as when we played Ipswich last Saturday but, as the away side, we're bound to be a lot happier with the result than Brighton.

"Six or seven weeks ago we would have lost a game like that 4-1 or 5-1. There's more about us now.

"We had to deal with a lot of balls in the box and we showed a lot of steel."

Appleton insisted he is not thinking about the possibility of making the play-offs at this stage, adding: "It would be different if we had six games to play, but we have 15 matches to go with a lot to play this month.

"We are a work in progress at the minute. Our work ethic not to lose is good and important and we have enough quality to win away games."