Blackburn 2-3 Birmingham

Gary Bowyer insists Jordan Rhodes won’t be sold in January after nearly rescueing a point for Blackburn against Birmingham.

The striker netted a fine brace to take his tally for the season to 15, but it wasn’t enough for Rovers, who slipped to a 3-2 defeat.

And Bowyer said: “He’s just increased his value!

“The owners have told me he’s not for sale, and they’ve told me that for a long time.

“It’s going to take a big, big offer to even think about it.”

The hosts were 3-0 down by half-time, with a catalogue of defensive errors gifting City their lead.

Rhodes’ former Huddersfield strike-partner Lee Novak netted twice, firstly firing home Dan Burn’s knockdown before doubling the lead with an absolute screamer, smashing home from 30-yards after receiving a loose ball in midfield.

And the visitors looked home and dry when Chris Burke netted a third after ‘keeper Simon Eastwood’s calamitous clearance gifted him the ball 18-yards out.

Yet despite the half-time score, Bowyer refused to criticise his players.

“I thought we weren’t bad in the first half,” he continued.

“I think Birmingham might have gone in our half three times and scored three goals.

“The second half was absolutely outstanding. We could quite easily have collapsed and died and shown no fight.

“On another day we might have got a point.”

Rovers were resurgent after the break and Rhodes pulled one back just after the hour, heading home Ben Marshall’s cross, before lobbing the on-rushing Darren Randolph after to make it 3-2.

But for all their huffing and puffing, Rovers had nothing to show for their afternoon’s work as defender Scott Dann missed two simple chances to equalise late on, firstly missing his kick from six yards before seeing a header cleared off the line.

And a relieved Lee Clark joked: “There weren’t many anxious moments in the end!

“To come away from home and win any match is fantastic.

“If prizes were given for heart and desire, commitment and passion, they’d be running away with it.

“We’re slowly chipping away at the top ten which is our prime target.”

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