BLACKBURN Rovers talisman David Dunn is hopeful of returning to the starting XI after injury this weekend insisting that Gary Bowyer’s new-look side can gatecrash the top six.
Dunn admits his latest injury setback was a result of his own over-enthusiasm, but the fit-again midfielder is now fully over his hamstring strain having played 70 minutes for Rovers U21s on Monday night.
And the 34-year-old believes Rovers can be confident of a result against fellow top six hopefuls Derby despite shipping nine goals in their last two games against Manchester City and Nottingham Forest.
“Our home form has been pretty good, it’s just that the emotional and physical output we put into the Manchester City games showed a little bit and took it out of us against Forest, said Dunn.
“But we’ve got a good group now and I’m very confident that we can go on and have a good run.”
“The lads have been fantastic for the last few weeks and we’re looking like a good team.
“Derby is going to be a massive game for us. Their away form is very good so we’ll have to be at our best.”
Dunn missed four games over the festive period after hurting his hamstring while ‘flying around’ in training.
And, having come off the bench in last Saturday’s loss at Forest, he is ready to start his first match since he inspired the victory at Yeovil Town on December 21.
Dunn added: “It was a little disappointing to do my hamstring on Christmas Eve.
“It was a case of me being me, flying around, so in hindsight I should have relaxed a little bit.
“But I don’t think I’m ever going to change. So, as I say, it was little bit disappointing.
“But it’s all good now, I felt pretty sharp on Saturday when I came on so hopefully I can be in contention for a place against Derby.”
Dunn’s passion also led him to asking Rovers boss Gary Bowyer to play in the U21 Premier League clash with Norwich City.
The former England international produced a committed display and it was no coincidence that after he was withdrawn Rovers conceded three late goals.
Dunn said: “I just love playing football. A game was there, I hadn’t started a game for a while, so it was the perfect opportunity to get some minutes under my belt.”
Meanwhile, Rovers are awaiting confirmation that Bradley Orr’s year-long loan to FC Toronto has gone through.
The Major League Soccer outfit will have the option to buy the right back when the loan runs out in December.
Orr is contracted to Rovers until the summer of 2015.