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Jones: Bowyer will bring success to Blackburn Rovers
PHIL Jones believes his former youth boss Gary Bowyer will be the man to bring the good times back to Blackburn Rovers.
Jones was back in town yesterday to help launch the partnership between Blackburn College and Blackburn Youth Zone and remains an avid follower of the club he supported as a boy – two years after he left for Manchester United.
The 21-year-old has also amassed eight caps for England in the formative stages of his career and says he will always be grateful to Rovers for handing him his start in the game.
Jones progressed through the Rovers youth system under Bowyer’s guidance and has backed the former development coach to now deliver success at first-team level, in his first season as permanent boss.
“I kept in touch with Gaz, he’s a top guy and a good manager,” Jones said.
“He’ll do really well for the club.
“He’s such a great manager and a great person as well.
“He’s a really passionate guy, he’s passionate about football.
“He deserves every success he gets. I was delighted to see him get the job and I wish him all the best.
“He’s got his squad together and it seems a settled squad and one that can push for promotion.
“I’m always looking out for the results. I still speak to a few of the lads now and it’s the first result I look out for on Soccer Saturday when we’ve got a 5.30pm kick-off.
“I think they will do all right this season and hopefully we will see them back in the Premier League sooner rather than later.
“There have been a lot of changes at the club, there is no hiding that.
“But it’s still a fantastic club, it’s always been a family club and a tight knit group.
“I think that’s exactly what they’re getting back to the moment.
“Fingers crossed for the season.”
Jones spent a decade at Rovers and is happy that he is now being used as an example to inspire the club’s young players.
“When I was younger you always needed to look up to someone and think I’d love to be in his shoes,” he said.
“I really enjoyed my time down at the digs and down at Brockhall.
“You don’t realise how much you miss it until it’s gone. We had a great group of lads.
“There are some cracking young players coming through at Blackburn. There are some in the squad already and young players deserve the chance if they’re good enough.
“It was good to be back in Blackburn - driving down the roads that I used to drive to the ground, it’s always a nice feeling to be back.
“It’s a very special place to me, they played a big part in my career and I’m ever thankful for that and can never thank them enough.
“Things move on but you never forget your roots and where you come from.
“When I joined the club it was massive for me because I supported the club as a boy, so to play for the club and make my debut in the Premier League was fantastic.
“I had a great 10 years here.”
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