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Jon Dahl Tomasson praises Sammie Szmodics after brace against Birmingham

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Nov 2023

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Jon Dahl Tomasson praised the impact of Sammie Szmodics after his brace helped Blackburn to a pulsating 4-2 win over Birmingham.

Szmodics set Rovers on their way in the 47th minute, lobbing John Ruddy after beating the Birmingham offside trap, and his delicate finish five minutes later doubled the advantage.

When James Hill made it three, it felt like job done but Siriki Dembele hit a stunning brace of his own, curling into the top corner and firing into the roof of the net before Harry Leonard secured the points in injury time.

Szmodics has netted six in his last four and 13 for the season and after the game Tomasson praised his overall impact.

He said: “He’s flying. Not only this week, and this month, I think actually Sammie has been playing extremely well in the last year and now he’s adding a lot of goals, which we need.

“We’re extremely pleased for Sammie.

“We want to play a game, a modern way, a fluent game where you play quick, one or two touches, within one or two seconds – it’s a way of talking without using words and Sammie is one of those players that can do that.

“He can play and go, play the ball and move immediately, he has a great feeling regarding space as well and he always creates chances or when the ball finds him, he’s in a good position.

“And of course he works really hard against the ball which every team needs.

“I’m pleased he’s getting chances and scoring and even when he misses a chance, he keeps his head up.”

The result means it is one win in seven for Wayne Rooney, who felt there were positives in the Blues performance but described the goals conceded as “schoolboy”.

He said: “The goals were very poor from our point of view. I thought for large portions of the game, we were very good and caused Blackburn a lot of problems.

“The goals are schoolboy. I take responsibility for that but I think we as defenders, goalkeeper and midfielders, we need to be better because we can’t keep allowing teams to score goals like that against us.

“First five minutes of the second half, I said to the players at half-time, are so important.

“I felt first half we really quietened their crowd, and not to give them momentum and encouragement to get up and we do the opposite.

“It’s cost us the game but it’s hard to sit here and take the defeat after such a positive performance.

“We created some really good chances. We have to be more clinical because I think we’ve had 20-odd attempts at goal today and scored two. Really frustrated with the defeat.”

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