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Blackburn Rovers blog: Youth is a reason to stay positive
IN the aftermath of the weekend that saw Rovers slip to bottom of the English Premier League, it’s time to find some positives.
It’s unfortunate that we should now occupy such a disappointing league position, considering Saturday’s draw at QPR was a decent result that, under other circumstances, even the most critical Rovers fan would be pretty satisfied with.
But with all the doom and gloom that surrounds the club at present, it is very pleasing to see so many of our players, mainly youth, representing their countries at international level last week.
Twenty-year-old Wiganner Jason Lowe, who has impressed at Ewood since returning from his loan spell at Oldham, made his England under-21s debut as the side maintained its unbeaten run in the European Championship qualifiers with a 2-1 win over Norway, who until then were also unbeaten.
Lowe continued to show his versatility when he was asked to slot in at full back after Craig Dawson was forced off through injury. The future could be bright for this one.
New signing Simon Vukcevic, who has shown flashes of quality in a stop-start beginning to his Ewood career, outshone the majority of England’s overpaid prima donnas in Montenegro’s 2-2 draw with the Three Lions.
Martin Olsson, who has become one of Rovers’ key players and I, personally, am terrified of us losing him in the not-too-distant future, scored for Sweden in their 2-1 win against Finland and featured in their 3-2 victory over Holland that saw them clinch second place in Group E and qualify for the European Championships.
Striker David Goodwillie was a sub for Scotland and scored from the penalty spot as his side lost 3-1 to Spain; Morten Gamst Pedersen scored a header (shock, horror!) in Norway’s 3-1 win against Cyprus, but was subbed at half-time; and the as yet unimpressive Radosav Petrovic played the first half and was substituted in Serbia’s 1-1 draw with Italy and 1-0 win over Estonia. His side will play in a second-place play-off to qualify for the championships.
Perhaps the most pleasing is the Republic of Ireland under-19s captain, John O’Sullivan.
The attacking midfielder has just turned 18 and has already made an appearance for Rovers reserves. He led his national team to three wins and the European Championship finals for the first time since 2002.
Also in action was Northern Irish attacking midfielder James Knowles, but his side crashed to a thumping 5-1 defeat at the hands of Germany.
Things may not be going too smoothly for the side at present, but at least the future is looking bright for us.