Blackburn Rovers' Markus Olsson desperate to make derby debut

Markus Olsson

Markus Olsson

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Blackburn Rovers reporter

AFTER 11 frustrating months on the sidelines Markus Olsson hopes he has done enough in his surprise comeback match to retain his place in the Blackburn Rovers starting line-up for Sunday’s East Lancashire derby with Burnley.

And if Olsson, who made his first league start since April in Saturday’s 4-0 defeat at Bolton Wanderers, does get the nod from boss Gary Bowyer it will be his first taste of one of British football’s most bitter rivalries.

The 25-year-old signed for Rovers in January 2012 but has not featured in any of the three clashes with the Clarets that have taken place since then.

Olsson, however, knows all about the importance of the derby.

And if does need a reminder of the passion it can evoke he need only ask his twin brother Martin, who will go down in derby legend for the crucial but controversial role he played in Rovers’ 1-0 win at Turf Moor in the Premier League in March 2010.

The left-back sparked outrage among Burnley supporters – and the condemnation of then Rovers boss Sam Allardyce – when he dived over Brian Jensen to win the penalty from which David Dunn settled the contest.

Martin no longer has to face the wrath of Clarets fans after leaving Ewood Park in the summer to sign for Norwich City.

But fellow Sweden international Markus will do so on Sunday – providing he keeps his position in Bowyer’s starting line-up.

“It’s a big game not only for the players but everybody around the club and the town,” said Olsson, who was an unused substitute when Rovers drew 1-1 at Turf Moor last season after Sam Vokes struck late on to cancel out Jordan Rhodes’ opener.

“We’ve just got to work hard this week and put in a good performance against Burnley.

“When we’ve played them in the past I’ve been injured so this will be my first one if I play.

“Of course I want to play in it but every week I want an opportunity – not only next weekend against Burnley but every weekend.

“On Saturday I just tried to work my socks off and put a shift in but obviously the result wasn’t there.

“But hopefully I showed enough to at least be in the manager’s mind.”

An injury to captain Grant Hanley led to Olsson being handed the chance to revive his Rovers career in Saturday’s trip to the Reebok Stadium.

But his delight at starting his first Championship game since the 4-0 loss at Watford late last season was tempered by a desperately disappointing result which ended Rovers’ five-match unbeaten run.

“It was a great feeling to be on the pitch but at the end of the day it is about winning so it was disappointing,” said the attacking left-back, who forced Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan into a fine save, went close with another effort from distance and sent over a cross from which stand-in skipper Jordan Rhodes should have scored.

“But it was nice to be back. It has been a frustrating 12 months and while I don’t try to think about it too much of course sometimes it crosses my mind that I have not been playing for a while.

“I have just tried to work hard and not complain.

“I have worked with our sports science group and in training I have tried to show that I want to be part of the team.”

It is a team which Olsson believes, despite the Bolton setback, can push for the fourth and final play-off place.

He said: “Heads are down and nobody is happy about the result.

“We made Bolton look a bit too good – better than they are. We are a good team and we should not have let them play like that.

“I think if we had scored first then the game would have been different. We had two good chances when the ball could have gone in and some half chances as well.

“On another day they would have gone in and they would have missed their chance but it was just one of those days for us.

“The message in the changing room at half-time was that we still wanted to go for it as we are a strong, fighting team who fights for each other.

“What we tried in the second half didn’t work but now we have to think about the other games and move forward.

“Burnley is a big game but so are the next 13 games after that. What is important to us is that we make the play-offs.

“We have a strong team and Saturday was just one of those days that wasn’t the best.

“Hopefully we will bounce back on Sunday with our great support.”

Comments (22)

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12:18pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Venkytrash says...

Can't think of anything worse!
Can't think of anything worse! Venkytrash
  • Score: 2

12:29pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Itsnotmeyoubellend says...

I'm also desperately hoping he makes derby debut.
I'm also desperately hoping he makes derby debut. Itsnotmeyoubellend
  • Score: -2

12:38pm Tue 4 Mar 14

phillyrovers says...

Is it a co-incidence that the last 2 games Markus has started in we have lost 4-0?
Is it a co-incidence that the last 2 games Markus has started in we have lost 4-0? phillyrovers
  • Score: 7

12:43pm Tue 4 Mar 14

campbell69s says...

We only signed him because his brother played for us, not for his football skills.
He's conceded 8 goals in two games, I think this says it all.
We only signed him because his brother played for us, not for his football skills. He's conceded 8 goals in two games, I think this says it all. campbell69s
  • Score: 10

12:52pm Tue 4 Mar 14

kfc yummy says...

Oh its another player pushing for the play-offs.
Oh its another player pushing for the play-offs. kfc yummy
  • Score: 4

12:55pm Tue 4 Mar 14

leitchy says...

Great energy and quick....would be useful to bring on in the 2nd half!
Great energy and quick....would be useful to bring on in the 2nd half! leitchy
  • Score: 1

12:56pm Tue 4 Mar 14

BlueSkies says...

And I'm desperate that he doesn't play, sorry but for me a total 'lightweight'.....
And I'm desperate that he doesn't play, sorry but for me a total 'lightweight'..... BlueSkies
  • Score: 8

12:56pm Tue 4 Mar 14

BlueSkies says...

And I'm desperate that he doesn't play, sorry but for me a total 'lightweight'.....
And I'm desperate that he doesn't play, sorry but for me a total 'lightweight'..... BlueSkies
  • Score: 3

1:09pm Tue 4 Mar 14

ChrisDeBerg says...

PLEASE.... Do not play Olsson!! We have better players who are fit!!
PLEASE.... Do not play Olsson!! We have better players who are fit!! ChrisDeBerg
  • Score: 8

2:29pm Tue 4 Mar 14

eddyo says...

When you play football, at kick-off you look up the pitch to see who you are up against. You see a tough nut or gym-type and you think - sh111111t, it's gonna be a tough game. You look up the pitch and see a gimp - and it's ding dong!
*
I try to know next to nothing about the dingles, but if their full-back Trippier gets his crosses into their striking pair we are fcuked. And who do we have to stop the crosses? Olsson.
When you play football, at kick-off you look up the pitch to see who you are up against. You see a tough nut or gym-type and you think - sh111111t, it's gonna be a tough game. You look up the pitch and see a gimp - and it's ding dong! * I try to know next to nothing about the dingles, but if their full-back Trippier gets his crosses into their striking pair we are fcuked. And who do we have to stop the crosses? Olsson. eddyo
  • Score: 8

3:02pm Tue 4 Mar 14

GAZHAY says...

Not good enough along with Williamson and Lowe (in centre mid) and Taylor. Got to be Evans Cairney King and Conway in midfield but Bowyer doesn't have the balls to do that. He will never drop Lowe!
Not good enough along with Williamson and Lowe (in centre mid) and Taylor. Got to be Evans Cairney King and Conway in midfield but Bowyer doesn't have the balls to do that. He will never drop Lowe! GAZHAY
  • Score: 14

3:11pm Tue 4 Mar 14

bburnrover says...

I sincerely hope he is on the exit list as he is just not good enough like a few other players GB and his clown coaches select every week.
I sincerely hope he is on the exit list as he is just not good enough like a few other players GB and his clown coaches select every week. bburnrover
  • Score: 1

3:12pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Ronaldpetercooper says...

Well I am slowly recovering from shingle on my head so been unable to comment for a few weeks but there has been a lot of negativity lately.
Bowyer is our manager and yes he has made a few tactical errors but overall he has more plusses than minuses. We sit safely placed in this league and after the last few seasons surely most will settle for that.
The new guy from Everton, I am reliably informed by my Everton contacts, will be a great acquisition and once the new signings over the last six months have a pre season with the club and we get one or two youngsters back then who knows?
I am definitely optimistic that we can make a reasonable go at promotion next season and that will do or me.
As for Burnley this week it will be a draw and then they can continue their charge. Good luck to them they appear to have been playing well but they will have to settle for a draw against the mighty Rovers.
Well I am slowly recovering from shingle on my head so been unable to comment for a few weeks but there has been a lot of negativity lately. Bowyer is our manager and yes he has made a few tactical errors but overall he has more plusses than minuses. We sit safely placed in this league and after the last few seasons surely most will settle for that. The new guy from Everton, I am reliably informed by my Everton contacts, will be a great acquisition and once the new signings over the last six months have a pre season with the club and we get one or two youngsters back then who knows? I am definitely optimistic that we can make a reasonable go at promotion next season and that will do or me. As for Burnley this week it will be a draw and then they can continue their charge. Good luck to them they appear to have been playing well but they will have to settle for a draw against the mighty Rovers. Ronaldpetercooper
  • Score: 3

3:19pm Tue 4 Mar 14

McClaret says...

eddyo wrote:
When you play football, at kick-off you look up the pitch to see who you are up against. You see a tough nut or gym-type and you think - sh111111t, it's gonna be a tough game. You look up the pitch and see a gimp - and it's ding dong!
*
I try to know next to nothing about the dingles, but if their full-back Trippier gets his crosses into their striking pair we are fcuked. And who do we have to stop the crosses? Olsson.
Fair point but in fairness most of the division can't stop Trippier. Remember seeing his brother take the dive, looking from the stand it wasn't even a decent dive it was that obvious, still wonder how the ref fell for it?
Let's hope Sunday sees a match decided by quality moments instead.
[quote][p][bold]eddyo[/bold] wrote: When you play football, at kick-off you look up the pitch to see who you are up against. You see a tough nut or gym-type and you think - sh111111t, it's gonna be a tough game. You look up the pitch and see a gimp - and it's ding dong! * I try to know next to nothing about the dingles, but if their full-back Trippier gets his crosses into their striking pair we are fcuked. And who do we have to stop the crosses? Olsson.[/p][/quote]Fair point but in fairness most of the division can't stop Trippier. Remember seeing his brother take the dive, looking from the stand it wasn't even a decent dive it was that obvious, still wonder how the ref fell for it? Let's hope Sunday sees a match decided by quality moments instead. McClaret
  • Score: 3

4:43pm Tue 4 Mar 14

dallydally says...

He's not good enough - simples!
He's not good enough - simples! dallydally
  • Score: 2

6:19pm Tue 4 Mar 14

more bans than ray - brfc lxxv says...

McClaret wrote:
eddyo wrote:
When you play football, at kick-off you look up the pitch to see who you are up against. You see a tough nut or gym-type and you think - sh111111t, it's gonna be a tough game. You look up the pitch and see a gimp - and it's ding dong!
*
I try to know next to nothing about the dingles, but if their full-back Trippier gets his crosses into their striking pair we are fcuked. And who do we have to stop the crosses? Olsson.
Fair point but in fairness most of the division can't stop Trippier. Remember seeing his brother take the dive, looking from the stand it wasn't even a decent dive it was that obvious, still wonder how the ref fell for it?
Let's hope Sunday sees a match decided by quality moments instead.
I can guarantee if there's any quality on show it won't be from Olsson. He's a playground footballer. Too light weight, bad decision making, weak passing ability & generally not good enough. I hope the lad proves me wrong.
[quote][p][bold]McClaret[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eddyo[/bold] wrote: When you play football, at kick-off you look up the pitch to see who you are up against. You see a tough nut or gym-type and you think - sh111111t, it's gonna be a tough game. You look up the pitch and see a gimp - and it's ding dong! * I try to know next to nothing about the dingles, but if their full-back Trippier gets his crosses into their striking pair we are fcuked. And who do we have to stop the crosses? Olsson.[/p][/quote]Fair point but in fairness most of the division can't stop Trippier. Remember seeing his brother take the dive, looking from the stand it wasn't even a decent dive it was that obvious, still wonder how the ref fell for it? Let's hope Sunday sees a match decided by quality moments instead.[/p][/quote]I can guarantee if there's any quality on show it won't be from Olsson. He's a playground footballer. Too light weight, bad decision making, weak passing ability & generally not good enough. I hope the lad proves me wrong. more bans than ray - brfc lxxv
  • Score: 5

6:22pm Tue 4 Mar 14

FCBurnley says...

No doubt he is taking diving lessons from his brother as I write this. Cheating Swedish Gits.
No doubt he is taking diving lessons from his brother as I write this. Cheating Swedish Gits. FCBurnley
  • Score: -4

6:51pm Tue 4 Mar 14

ghost of sceptic says...

Nowhere near good enough, sorry Marcus but if you get games we realy are in a dire state.
Nowhere near good enough, sorry Marcus but if you get games we realy are in a dire state. ghost of sceptic
  • Score: 2

7:09pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Wild Rover says...

Some very harsh comments here both at GB and Marcus. Ok I would not pick him and GB only did cos we were shorthanded.
But there is no call for the nasty comments at one of own Rovers, he is honest and puts a shift in
Jeez, dont give the Dingles more ammo
Some very harsh comments here both at GB and Marcus. Ok I would not pick him and GB only did cos we were shorthanded. But there is no call for the nasty comments at one of own Rovers, he is honest and puts a shift in Jeez, dont give the Dingles more ammo Wild Rover
  • Score: 2

7:42am Wed 5 Mar 14

Homewise says...

If that is what Olsson cals doing his best he needs to lookfor another areer. He was absolutely embarrassing at Bolton. Needs to go with herest of the deadwood.
If that is what Olsson cals doing his best he needs to lookfor another areer. He was absolutely embarrassing at Bolton. Needs to go with herest of the deadwood. Homewise
  • Score: 0

9:21am Wed 5 Mar 14

look up blackburn says...

*** URGENT MESSAGE FOR GARY BOWYER ***

Please, please put Markus Olsson in your first 11.... he's far better than those morons above give him credit for, lightning fast, great first touch and a reading of the game that is second to none...

As for central defence, you have a plethora of options for cover and I think you are bang-on when you say that others can fill in. Indeed who really needs dedicated centre backs anyway? I think you have hit the nail on the head, forget about player positions and have everyone capable of playing anywhere, genius! The Bolton game was probably a freak result, but stick with you principles Gaz and you'll get it right eventually. Rome wasn't built in 3 seasons.

Also we like the sound of a Lowe/Williamson centre midfield, I believe your decision to pair these two potential world-beaters is your best tactical move to date, a solid, dependable pair with exceptional distribution and forward movement, you'll not go far wrong with these two, I'd compare them to a young Keane/Ince partnership...

Finally stick with your current strikers, some may say they are incompatible, non-scoring layabouts only there to pick up their overinflated salaries, but I think you've got a couple of gems, perhaps next season they might start hitting the net again but don't expect too much from them in the short term.

There's a good lad.
*** URGENT MESSAGE FOR GARY BOWYER *** Please, please put Markus Olsson in your first 11.... he's far better than those morons above give him credit for, lightning fast, great first touch and a reading of the game that is second to none... As for central defence, you have a plethora of options for cover and I think you are bang-on when you say that others can fill in. Indeed who really needs dedicated centre backs anyway? I think you have hit the nail on the head, forget about player positions and have everyone capable of playing anywhere, genius! The Bolton game was probably a freak result, but stick with you principles Gaz and you'll get it right eventually. Rome wasn't built in 3 seasons. Also we like the sound of a Lowe/Williamson centre midfield, I believe your decision to pair these two potential world-beaters is your best tactical move to date, a solid, dependable pair with exceptional distribution and forward movement, you'll not go far wrong with these two, I'd compare them to a young Keane/Ince partnership... Finally stick with your current strikers, some may say they are incompatible, non-scoring layabouts only there to pick up their overinflated salaries, but I think you've got a couple of gems, perhaps next season they might start hitting the net again but don't expect too much from them in the short term. There's a good lad. look up blackburn
  • Score: -1

9:51am Wed 5 Mar 14

jimluftas says...

bburnrover wrote:
I sincerely hope he is on the exit list as he is just not good enough like a few other players GB and his clown coaches select every week.
Every week?! Saturday was his first game in ages and only came due to injuries.
[quote][p][bold]bburnrover[/bold] wrote: I sincerely hope he is on the exit list as he is just not good enough like a few other players GB and his clown coaches select every week.[/p][/quote]Every week?! Saturday was his first game in ages and only came due to injuries. jimluftas
  • Score: 0

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