BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer has hailed Craig Conway’s continued outstanding form – but he admits he may not have signed the Scottish wing wizard if Ben Marshall had not got injured.
Conway has scored four goals and set up a further eight in 16 matches since his £100,000 transfer from Cardiff City on January transfer deadline day.
The set-piece specialist had long been admired by Bowyer but it was only after fellow wideman Marshall sustained ankle-ligament damage in the home draw with Derby County on January 25 that he made his move.
With Marshall back in full training and champing at the bit to play in today’s trip to Charlton Athletic (3pm), Bowyer was asked whether he would have gone in for Conway if his big summer signing had not been ruled out for three months.
He said: “Craig was always on our radar and we always knew how good he was but, who knows?
“But I’m delighted that we went in for him and I’m delighted that we got him into the building.
“He’s made a massive impact for us and for the two lads up front (Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede) it must be a dream because they know when he gets the ball he will be putting it in that spot regularly.”
Conway created two of hat-trick hero Gestede’s three goals in Rovers’ 4-2 win at Birmingham City on Monday.
And the Scotland international could be joined in the squad for today’s clash with struggling Charlton by the fit-again Marshall who, before he was sidelined, was showing why Bowyer paid Leicester City £1m for his services.
Bowyer said: “Ben is very excited and very lively as you would expect but we’ll just see how he goes.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to add him to the squad for this weekend and if not, certainly for the game against Wigan.
“He adds another dimension to the attacking force that we’ve got now.
“Josh King was excellent on Monday against Birmingham and he brings something different to the table than say when Tom Cairney plays out wide.
“So the options that we have when everybody is fit is exciting for us.”
The poor state of Charlton’s notorious pitch at The Valley may make it difficult for wingers Conway, King and – if selected – Marshall to get the ball down.
But Bowyer insists the surface will not alter his side’s preparations for a match they must win if they are to remain in the play-off hunt going into their final game of the campaign at home to Wigan Athletic a week today.
Bowyer said: “The pitch is going to be the same for both teams.
“When you train on some of our pitches at this stage of the season here (at Brockhall), they are bare.
“We’ve got to go there, play the game and adjust to the conditions accordingly.”