ADAM Henley admits Henning Berg’s Blackburn Rovers arrival has dramatically changed his Ewood Park fortunes – after revealing he was set to leave the club on loan earlier this season.
Rovers’ 18-year-old right back has been an ever present since Berg succeeded Steve Kean as manager in November having been largely ignored for months beforehand.
Ahead of tomorrow’s crucial Lancashire derby at Blackpool, Henley is expected to make his ninth straight first team start and is regarded by supporters as one of the club’s brightest young prospects.
He signed a new long term deal keeping him at the club until 2017 last week, with Berg already insisting he will keep his place if he continues his recent form.
Henley’s form has not come as a major surprise to many Rovers fans who saw the teenager impress in a win at Old Trafford and a draw at Anfield in the Premier League last season. The biggest shock for many was why he was then ignored for so long under the old regime.
Henley said: “It just goes to show how quickly football can change and I’m very grateful for it. I’ve got to prove now he was right to put me in there.
“It’s amazing really. I was very close to going out on loan.“I played quite a few reserve games at the start of the season and I was thinking of making that move. “But my agent said just to sit tight and with the change of management it was probably the best thing that could have happened to me really.
“It really has been a roller-coaster ride, ups and downs, it’s just important that I stay on an even keel and don’t let the downs get on top of me and keep being positive and try to get the best out of everything.
“As soon as the manager came in, that was more or less the first time in months training with the first team. It’s all about taking your chance – it always is in football – and as long as you do that you’ll always be successful.”
Henley’s return to the team has only brought one win to Rovers’ stuttering Championship campaign as they sit in 13th position, level on points with tomorrow’s hosts Blackpool.
But, ahead of a busy festive period, Henley is adamant the mood around the camp is still positive as they look to get their promotion bid on track.
He said: “We’ve had some good performances in the last few weeks but we really need to give 100 per cent in every game and that’s the only thing we need to do to get us where we want to go. “As long as everyone’s willing to do that I’m sure the results won’t be a problem.
“That’s always the goal for every game, to keep a clean sheet. If you don’t concede any goals you can’t lose. We’re hoping in the next few games we’ll definitely get one under our belts.
“The Championship is a really hard league. There are a lot of good teams in it and you can’t afford to underestimate any of them.
“It has thrown up its challenges but we’ve just got to take every game as it comes and give 100 per cent in each one of them.
“It is very important to stay on an even keel and not get too excited when you win or get too down when you lose. “You’ve just got to keep grinding out the results and keep being professional about it.
“I think we’re in a good place. There have been changes but for the good hopefully. Everything’s positive around the place and some good results around the corner can change everything for us.
“Everyone’s been at it 100 per cent since the new manager’s come in, and hopefully everything will come together soon and we can get some back-to-back results and change our season.
“When you’ve had a taste of the Premier League you just want to get back there. “It’s such a good experience to be at those grounds every week. “It’s something we’re all going to strive for and that definitely is the goal at the end of the day, to get back to that.”