Paul Hurst admits that Shrewsbury Town weren't at their best in defeat
Paul Hurst thought his Shrewsbury Town side were not at their best for long enough during the 3-1 defeat at third-placed Blackburn.
Town had the gap to Rovers cut to two points after two goals from Charlie Mulgrew helped the hosts to a comfortable three points.
The visitors, backed by 1,387 travelling fans, went into half-time worthy of the 1-1 scoreline after Jon Nolan's penalty had cancelled out Mulgrew's excellent free-kick opener.
But two goals inside nine second-half minutes from Danny Graham and a second Mulgrew strike from the spot handed the home side momentum and the three points.
"I didn't think we played well enough for long enough," Hurst admitted. "The last 15 minutes of the first-half we did well and for the start of the second-half.
"We contributed massively to giving them the second goal. After that we had one or two bits but overall we made Blackburn's victory easy.
"They did a lot of the basics well today. I don't think we got cut open. They just returned the ball, competed, picked up second balls and played at a good intensity.
"They got the crowd behind them and in the end we didn't have enough answers to that for long enough in the game."
Hurst, who did not feel that Omar Beckles fouled Dominic Samuel for Rovers' set-piece opener, felt Shrewsbury were the better side before and after half-time.
Toto Nsiala and Ben Godfrey struggled to clear a cross into Shrews' box, leaving the dangerous Bradley Dack to find the post and Graham to pounce for the all important third goal.
The boss added: "I thought we were the better side when they scored their second. We finished the first-half strongly once we got the equaliser. We started to pass it a bit.
"In the beginning of the second-half we did what they had done. Started returning the ball, putting it into their areas - we then looked on top of the game.
"We gave three goals away - the first time it has happened to us - the first was a free-kick off the post, the second was a good strike that hits the post but Graham's the first to react. I'm not sure if we could've reacted better.
"The third one, I can see why the penalty has been given but he's (Samuel) has kicked it out of play and jumped into Deano."
Hurst hailed the travelling Salopians, the second-highest away crowd of the season behind the trip to Walsall, but rued Town's quality in the final third.
"It was a good atmosphere full stop and our fans contributed to that." said the boss. "They were right behind the team and still behind the players at the end.
"They understand what the group are trying to achieve. We had some moments but not enough quality in the final third when we did get there.
"Nolo (Jon Nolan) has had one where I wasn't really sure what it was at the end. Rodders (Alex Rodman) is in a great position and doesn't pick anyone out.
"When you come to these places and you're not at your best, you've got to eliminate basic errors and take advantage of situations.
"But I won't have too many complaints, they played at a good tempo. Goals change games, had we not gone behind at 2-1 who knows?
"We'll dust ourselves down. We're still in a good position."