Blackburn boss Hughes refuses to be downbeat after Villa thumping

Blackburn's impressive start to the season appears to have hit the buffers as they have now gone four league games without a win following a 4-0 home defeat to in-form Aston Villa.

Their cause was not helped by the controversial dismissal of Ryan Nelsen by referee Phil Dowd for tugging back Gabriel Agbonlahor in the penalty area early in the second half. With fellow defender Christopher Samba in close attendance it was hard to see how a clear goal scoring opportunity was prevented.

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Villa where already a goal up at this stage through John Carew; the Norwegian international taking advantage of hesitancy by Rovers goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

Once Gareth Barry had doubled the visitors advantage from the penalty spot any chance of a ten man Blackburn fightback disappeared even though they had their own decent penalty shout rejected by the officials.

The home side managed to hold out until the final nine minutes when further goals from Ashley Young and substitute Marlon Harewood made it a miserable night for Blackburn boss Mark Hughes.

"It did seem to be one of those nights," said Hughes. "We are still scratching our heads how we've lost the game 4-0.

"Circumstances have gone against us but for the first thirty minutes I thought we were excellent. We got the ball down and caused them problems, I think they had one strike at goal and that was probably it.

"But we switched off in fairness at the free-kick, they have got good delivery, they've got big guys in there and unfortunately we haven't done our jobs and they've scored.

"But we were very much in the game, coming out in the second half we felt there was plenty in the game for us.

"The game turned on the sending off once again, we haven't been in a position to win the game because as soon as the penalty is given, and Ryan is sent off, then it is very difficult.

"We are not going to beat ourselves up about it, 4-0 looks bad in black, but confidence won't be dented because of this, we played well enough but circumstances conspired against us."

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