sport

Illness not a worry for Bowyer

Gary Bowyer saw Blackburn sign off their pre-season campaign with a 1-1 draw against Stoke, then allayed fears an illness bug would rob him of bodies when Ewood Park hosts the Sky Bet Championship opener this Friday.

A Rovers side missing Rudy Gestede, Ben Marshall and new recruit Chris Brown drew a fourth successive game on Sunday to conclude their round of friendlies.

Jordan Rhodes' opener was cancelled out by Bojan's equaliser at Ewood Park, which is the venue for the domestic season's first competitive game when Cardiff visit on Friday.

Bowyer will hope the sickness which has spread through his camp is gone by the time that contest rolls around, but he remains upbeat about that prospect, as well as Brown's minor knee niggle.

"I'd be very disappointed if we didn't have everybody ready for Friday," Bowyer told the club's official website.

"We've just got one or two that are trying to catch up with the illness that has gone through the camp, but they trained Sunday morning so we are hopeful that they can join the squad Monday and crack on.

"Rudy came back from international duty and he wasn't very good at all. We tried to get him back; he did a training day here at Ewood and he only lasted half of the session.

"So he's just getting back and just getting his strength back, and hopefully he can join in with training on Monday.

"Ben Marshall trained on Sunday morning, he's getting stronger every day so I fully expect him to be in the squad on Friday.

"Chris Brown had his best day of training on Saturday so hopefully he can pick that up this week.

"We've had quite a few get the bug but hopefully now everybody is over that. We're just looking forward to Friday now."