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Rovers wingers challenged to hit 30 goals by boss Bowyer
GARY Bowyer has set his wingers the ambitious target of firing 30 goals between them this season to make Blackburn Rovers even more of an attacking force.
Rovers boss Bowyer has no doubt Craig Conway, Ben Marshall and Josh King will supply a string of chances for frontmen Jordan Rhodes, Rudy Gestede, Chris Brown and Luke Varney.
But he also wants the trio to weigh in with more than their fair share of strikes.
Injuries restricted Marshall and King to just two goals each last season.
But Conway proved more prolific as he found the net four times in 18 games following his £100,000 switch from Cardiff City.
And Bowyer believes that shows it is possible for each of his widemen to make a push for double figures across the course of the campaign.
He said: “We are going to fantastic supply next season from Craig, Marshy and Josh and the forwards should rightfully be excited.
“But we can’t just expect the strikers to get all our goals.
“That’s why I’ve got to challenge the wide lads. They have got to be looking to get close to double figures if not double figures this season.
“The wide players have to contribute in terms of goals and I see no reason why they can’t.
“Craig got four and he only joined us at the end of January so it shows it can be done.”
Marshall missed the final three months of the 2013-14 campaign with ankle ligament damage.
But he will be ready to hit the ground running when pre-season gets under way on Wednesday after he and right back Adam Henley, right, who suffered a similar injury in March, returned to training a week early.
Bowyer said: “It was something that we thought was the best thing for them and we’re delighted that they were more than happy to do it.”
Both of the Rovers manager’s summer signings, Brown and Varney, will be present at Brockhall on Wednesday.
Varney will be announced as a Rovers player tomorrow after his contract at Leeds officially expires.
And Bowyer is still working hard to make two further additions to his squad.
A defender is his top priority and he has once again been linked with released Sunderland youngster John Egan.
The 21-year-old Irishman was let go by the Black Cats at the end of last season after enjoying a successful loan spell in League Two with Southend United.
Southend would like to sign Egan permanently but their manager Phil Brown has said he will be joining a club from a ‘higher level’.
There has also been speculation that Bowyer is chasing West Ham United goalkeeper Stephen Henderson.
It is not the first time that Rovers reportedly been interested in the 26-year-old Irishman. In the 2013 January transfer window Henderson was lined up to be part of a deal that took Paul Robinson to West Ham. The deal eventually fell through.
Rovers currently have three senior goalkeepers on their books– Robinson, Jake Kean, and Simon Eastwood. It is unlikely another keeper will be brought in without one going out.