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'Selfish' Dunny shows he is a real team player
MICHAEL Appleton has hailed David Dunn’s “selfishness” and “passion” after calling for yesterday’s 1-1 draw to be the catalyst for an end of season revival.
The Blackburn Rovers boss revealed he asked all of his squad to tell him something about themselves during a ‘team exercise’ at the hotel on Saturday night and insists it helped him learn more about the “man not the player”.
Dunn’s 95th minute leveller spared Rovers blushes at Ewood Park yesterday and, with his contract up in the summer, Appleton was full of praise for the 33-year-old midfielder.
He said: “Dunny is a talent. He is one of those people similar to me in that when people want to knock you, he wants to prove them wrong and that is why I respect him as player and a person.
“He has probably been written off over the last couple of seasons but he keeps coming back. I was delighted for him.
“We talked about a potential new contract after dinner on Saturday night and I said ‘it depends what you over the next nine games’. He did remind me of that as he jumped on my back going into the dressing room after.
“The coaching staff behind me kept saying ‘are we alright with Dunny? We might have to take him off. I’m thinking ‘no’ if anyone is going to produce a moment it is Dunny. The fact it is Burnley and his passion about that club and this club was the decision that made me keep him on.
“At the hotel I told them to give an insight into the man not the player. I asked them ‘what motivates you, a fact I didn’t know about them’. It was interesting what came out.
“I took them out of their comfort zone because I knew at some point they would be out of their comfort zone and didn’t feel comfortable. That came at half time when we were 1-0 down. We got the reaction we got. “Dunny was telling me how selfish he was because he is an only child. That sums him up as a person, not in a bad way. The fact he got the goal, and I had the trust in him to keep him on the pitch that says it all.”
Burnley deserved the 1-0 half time lead they took through Jason Shackell’s header and looked as though they were going to hand on to maximum points even after the sending off on Ben Mee.
But, as Dunn’s late leveller moved Rovers four points away from the drop zone, Appleton insisted his side deserved the point.
He said: “I thought for the effort alone in the second half and the boys keeping their discipline where Burnley lost theirs, we stayed patient “The crowd at times were willing us to put the ball in the box but when you have centre halves as big as theirs it is not that easy.
“We stayed patient, luckily we kept Dunny on the pitch and hopefully that can be a catalyst for the next two or three games.”