Rovers 3-1 Stoke City, February 2024
John Eustace started his Rovers reign with a convincing 3-1 win – although Damien Johnson and David Lowe had started the match managing the team. There were big similarities to previous ‘new manager bounces’, with Eustace suddenly appearing on the touchline as per Brian Kidd in 1998 and also recording a victory over Stoke City with three first half goals (after Sam Allardyce).
Rovers 3-0 Stoke City, December 2008
Paul Ince’s disastrous period as manager left Rovers bottom of the Premier League and desperate for points. Survival expert Sam Allardyce had an immediate impact as Rovers raced to a 3-0 lead inside 27 minutes thanks to Jason Roberts and Benni McCarthy (2). Big Sam eventually lifted the club to a 15th-place finish.
Rovers 1-0 Portsmouth, September 2004
Mark Hughes took over a beleaguered Rovers side from Graeme Souness, who had been poached by Newcastle United early in the season. It would take Hughes until the new year to properly sort out the mess as the team struggled through autumn at the bottom of the table. However, the new manager did record a debut win in a cagey game – forgotten man Matt Jansen stepped off the bench to rediscover a moment a magic and net the winner.
Rovers 2-2 Ipswich Town, November 1999
A Tony Parkes inspired performance as the caretaker manager made wholesale changes to the team following the QPR match the previous week which had ended Brian Kidd’s reign. Rovers took a first-minute lead through Lee Carsley and looked to be strolling to a convincing win after the captain also scored a penalty. A cracking injury-time equalizer by a centre-back called Tony Mowbray marred the day, but there was still positivity injected into Ewood that Parkes would be able to turn the season around. He steadied the ship before Graeme Souness was appointed in March 2000.
Rovers 1-0 Charlton Athletic, December 1998
Brian Kidd was appointed on Friday 4th December 1998 but Tony Parkes was to remain in charge for the Charlton match the following day, allowing Kidd to be paraded on the Ewood pitch and enjoy the game from the Directors’ Box. Clearly horrified at what he had seen in the first 25 minutes, Kidd suddenly appeared on the touchline wearing the largest coat known to science in order to “sort things out”. He was later reprimanded by the referee for continually straying out of the technical area as he wildly gesticulated instructions to his new players. “The cynical might have said that Kidd was doing a fair impression of a demented semaphore operator,” reported the Lancashire Telegraph’s Peter White. Kidd’s passion and apparent knowledge instantly fired up the crowd and convinced everyone that this was going to be a great appointment. There was another surprise sight that afternoon as Kevin Davies scored his only league goal for the club.
Rovers 3-0 Liverpool, November 1996
Ray Harford’s reign as manager ended after an embarrassing home League Cup defeat to Stockport County. Tony Parkes started this caretaker spell with a loss at West Ham, but his first Ewood match saw Rovers record a convincing and much-needed victory over Liverpool in front of 29,598. Chris Sutton (2) and Jason Wilcox provided the goals to give Rovers a first win of the season at the 12th attempt. Parkes would gradually lift the club from the bottom of the league to safety before Roy Hodgson’s arrival.