WINGER Craig Conway’s flying start to his Blackburn Rovers career has been hailed by manager Gary Bowyer and top scorer Jordan Rhodes.
Conway may have only been a Rovers player for six weeks but he is fast becoming an integral member of their starting line-up.
On the back of impressive individual performances in the defeats to Bolton and Bournemouth, the 28-year-old doubled his assists and goals tally for Rovers when he set up one and scored one in Saturday’s 4-2 win at Huddersfield Town.
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Rhodes stole the headlines with a wonderfully taken hat-trick but he was quick to salute the vital role his fellow Scotland international played in a win which put Rovers’ season back on track. Bowyer also believes his £100,000 buy from Cardiff City on transfer deadline day deserves special praise.
“We knew when we were trying to bring him in here provide the ability of putting the ball in the back of the net and he showed that with his goal,” said Bowyer.
“The way he went about it did not surprise me at all because he does that in training every day.
“Don’t get me wrong there was a little bit of luck with the goalie (letting the ball slip through his hands) but the pace and the accuracy of the shot is something he works on every day, so it was not a fluke.
“I thought he was outstanding.”
Rhodes was the beneficiary of one of Conway’s pinpoint crosses when he nodded in his second goal of the game to put Rovers back in front.
Having played together for Scotland the prolific striker was well aware of the calibre of player Bowyer was signing.
“Craig is a terrific player,” said Rhodes. “When he gets down that wing you know there’s only one thought in his mind and that’s to cross that ball and, as a striker, you just have to make your move to try and get on the end of them.
“Some weeks you don’t, through no fault of your own, as you make your run to the front post and it goes to the back post, but luckily enough I managed to meet it with my head. I thought Craig had a terrific game.”
Rovers midfielder Jason Lowe – who was forced to leave the John Smith’s Stadium wearing a protective boot after picking up an injury in the win – is a doubt for the weekend clash with Leicester but Rudy Gestede has been given the all clear following a head injury.
Lowe is the sixth player Rovers player, after striker DJ Campbell and midfielders Corry Evans, Dickson Etuhu, Ben Marshall and Tom Cairney, to suffer an ankle injury this season.
Bowyer said: “I don’t know what we’ve done to deserve all these ankle injuries but we keep picking them up.”