Albion assistant Nathan Jones has paid tribute to midfield “rock” Rohan Ince for masking the departure of Liam Bridcutt.
Ince is beginning to show signs of wear and tear after stepping into the deep-lying role since two-time player of the year Bridcutt was injured earlier in the season and then sold to Sunderland in January.
The 21-year-old has started 30 games in a breakthrough campaign but he was at fault for Blackburn’s opening goal on Tuesday and went off at half-time with a dead leg in the 3-3 draw at Ewood Park.
Jones told The Argus: “Rohan was carrying the injury and we felt he wasn’t able to perform at a level we know he can.
“Having someone of Dale’s (Stephens) quality on the bench meant it wasn’t a hard decision but Rohan has done fantastically well.
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“It has been a big ask of the boy. He has been our defensive midfield rock. He’s replaced Liam Bridcutt adequately with a fraction of his experience. He can be proud of how he’s done.”
Albion emphatically ended a 312-minute goal drought at Blackburn but Jones wants them to rediscover their mean streak after leaking eight goals in a four-match winless sequence.
He said: “We had comfortably the best defensive record in the league but it’s a big ask to keep on keeping clean sheets. It’s time to tighten back up, because we have some big games coming up.”