BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer admits fit-again goalkeeper Paul Robinson’s performance in his long-awaited comeback match has left him with a major selection headache.
The former England No.1 returned after 13 months on the sidelines to help Rovers to an excellent 1-1 draw with FA Cup favourites Manchester City on Saturday.
Now Bowyer must decide whether to stick with Robinson or bring back Simon Eastwood for this weekend’s Championship clash with Doncaster at Ewood Park.
Eastwood has helped Rovers to three wins and two draws in the six matches since taking over from Jake Kean between the posts.
But Bowyer was left impressed by Robinson’s display against City.
Bowyer said: “We knew Paul’s experience would be massive for us against City. He made a couple of decent saves but he knows this is just the start of his recovery.
“He’s still got a good bit to go but he’s worked very hard and he will continue to do that.
“With his experience he’s thrown down a challenge to both of the other goalkeepers that we already have and we’ve got a tough decision for next week.”
Bowyer told Robinson, who is now fully recovered from the blood clot on his lung that threatened his life, he would be starting against City before the New Year’s Day win at his former club Leeds United.
The absorbing third-round tie was the first time Robinson has played under Bowyer.
But he has been delighted by the job the manager has done in bringing stability to Rovers after the chaos of last season.
“I was at a club – Leeds United – early on in my career and the stuff that happened off the field there didn’t help,” said Robinson, who has 18 months left on his Rovers contract.
“But here now we have got some stability and I can’t talk highly enough of the manager.
“He’s taken the bull by the horns and he’s developing the team and squad into his team and squad.
“Stability is a big word to use. That’s something that we seem to have got back now.
“Traditionally it always was a good football club.
“When I first signed here it was a solid mid-table, pushing for the top 10 Premier League football club.
“What’s happened has happened but now we seem to have stability.
“We have a good bunch of players who want to work for each other and the manager and I think you saw that against Man City.”