Bowyer: Hoilett deserves great reception on Blackburn Rovers return

Junior Hoilett

Junior Hoilett

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

GARY Bowyer hopes Junior Hoilett receives a warm reception when he returns to Ewood Park tonight, insisting there are no hard feelings about the way the Canadian departed Blackburn Rovers.

Bowyer worked with Hoilett in the Blackburn Rovers youth set-up after the winger arrived from Ontario as a teenager and has never been in any doubt about the ability the 23-year-old possesses.

Hoilett had emerged as one of the star players of Rovers’ first team and a fans’ favourite in his last season at Ewood, but the club’s efforts to tie him to a new contract eventually proved to be in vain.

Despite then manager Steve Kean saying on at least one occasion that he expected Hoilett to sign a new deal ‘within 24 hours’, the player delayed for several months.

Hoilett scored seven goals that season but Rovers were eventually relegated from the Premier League.

It spelt the end to any hopes of keeping the player, who opted to join QPR at the end of his contract – although Rovers received an initial fee of £3m in compensation.

Hoilett suffered a second successive relegation last season, as QPR dropped out of the top flight, but is expected to line up on the wing for Harry Redknapp’s side tonight.

Bowyer understands why Hoilett made the decision to quite Rovers.

“That’s football,” said the Rovers boss. “That’s what happens when you get relegated from the Premier League.

“He is a Premier League player in my opinion so he made the decision to go and join QPR, who were then in the Premier League themselves.

“I fully understand that.

“I hope the crowd give him a good reception, because he deserves it. I think they will.”

Hoilett could not break the deadlock in QPR’s 0-0 draw at home to Rovers back in December but Bowyer is well aware of the threat he will pose.

The 5ft 8in Canadian made 92 appearances for Rovers after loan spells with German sides Paderborn and St Pauli, as he waited to be granted a work permit to play in the Premier League.

“I’ve known Junior since he was 14 or 15 years of age, he was probably the same size then as he is now!” Bowyer laughed.

“He’s a fantastic talent and did ever so well here for us. He went to a lot of effort to play in our first team, I think he went to Germany twice then he got his opportunity.

“I think in the season we went down he was the shining light with his performances and his goals.”

QPR will also have talented forward Ravel Morrison in their line-up tonight.

The 21-year-old on loan at Loftus Road from West Ham after being tipped for an England call-up earlier in the season.

Morrison has a reputation as a difficult player for managers to handle but was once in the Manchester United youth set-up with on loan Rovers defender Michael Keane.

“He’s a special talent, you could see that from when he was coming up through the Academy when he was 10 years old,” said Keane.

“I think his attitude of not really caring on the pitch helps him because he tries things that most other players wouldn’t try and more often than not they come off for him because he’s that good.

“He’s a really nice guy. The Championship is a little come-down for him but he’s still playing as well as he did at West Ham and you can see he’s going to have a great career. He’s proven he’s good enough to play in the Premier League.

“We’re going to have defend really well against him and be organised to, make sure he doesn’t get on the ball otherwise he could damage us.”

Comments (12)

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1:41pm Tue 8 Apr 14

hasslem hasslem says...

the lad who was so desperate to get away under not just keane BUT allardyce as well....no doubt he wanted champions' league football - well he is labouring in the same league as us.

no doubt he is on the point of signing a new contract. just the "i"s to dot and the "t"s to cross.
the lad who was so desperate to get away under not just keane BUT allardyce as well....no doubt he wanted champions' league football - well he is labouring in the same league as us. no doubt he is on the point of signing a new contract. just the "i"s to dot and the "t"s to cross. hasslem hasslem
  • Score: 7

2:25pm Tue 8 Apr 14

ChrisDeBerg says...

Why a 'great reception' I might ask?
Why a 'great reception' I might ask? ChrisDeBerg
  • Score: 9

2:31pm Tue 8 Apr 14

jinkyjase says...

We should show him the same apathy he showed us.
We should show him the same apathy he showed us. jinkyjase
  • Score: 19

3:13pm Tue 8 Apr 14

MxMave says...

Can't agree with this.

For me, when he left, he thought 100% about himself and didn't think about the club at all, letting us take the compensation payment as opposed to a transfer fee.

He really believes he's a top player - which I think he must have realised since that he isn't.

His dad is a major reason for the way in which he went about exiting the club but IMO he should have explained he wanted to leave a year before contract termination and ensured we got a decent payout.
Can't agree with this. For me, when he left, he thought 100% about himself and didn't think about the club at all, letting us take the compensation payment as opposed to a transfer fee. He really believes he's a top player - which I think he must have realised since that he isn't. His dad is a major reason for the way in which he went about exiting the club but IMO he should have explained he wanted to leave a year before contract termination and ensured we got a decent payout. MxMave
  • Score: 7

3:21pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Blackbunian says...

I have been a supporter of Blackburn Rovers since my father took me to my first game way back in 1944. We have had many excellent players whom we have wanted to keep, some were ultra loyal, some wanted better terms or wanted a new challenge with a prospect of winning trophies which they did not see themselves winning by staying at Blackburn - after all, this is no different than a great many Rovers supporters would do in their working lives - Why should Hoilett be expected to be any different? He is a young man with what is in reality a short career. He took advice and did what he thought was best his future. . Be truly sporting and give him a good welcome.
I have been a supporter of Blackburn Rovers since my father took me to my first game way back in 1944. We have had many excellent players whom we have wanted to keep, some were ultra loyal, some wanted better terms or wanted a new challenge with a prospect of winning trophies which they did not see themselves winning by staying at Blackburn - after all, this is no different than a great many Rovers supporters would do in their working lives - Why should Hoilett be expected to be any different? He is a young man with what is in reality a short career. He took advice and did what he thought was best his future. . Be truly sporting and give him a good welcome. Blackbunian
  • Score: 2

3:25pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Blackbunian says...

Sorry the end of my post should read "For his future"
Sorry the end of my post should read "For his future" Blackbunian
  • Score: 0

4:04pm Tue 8 Apr 14

jackmetickler says...

Let me think back to the way we treat real heroes...
say Alan Shearer..
The only way this lad will be given a good reception is if he is of no interest to the fans...

It may not be right but its the way it is.
Let me think back to the way we treat real heroes... say Alan Shearer.. The only way this lad will be given a good reception is if he is of no interest to the fans... It may not be right but its the way it is. jackmetickler
  • Score: -2

4:23pm Tue 8 Apr 14

jack01 says...

Given that it was the perennial liar Steve Kean who repeatedly said Hoilett was going to sign a new deal does anyone seriously believe that he actually was? Bear in mind that it was around this time that Emerton. Samba, Nelsen and Salgado were all sold/disposed of.

I have been informed numerous times that he was never even offered a new contract, despite claims from Kean that he was.

Whether he was offered a new deal or not, can anyone really blame Hoilett for clearing off when he did? The club was on its way to relegation, was managed by the worst 'manager' in the history of the club and the Premier League and was facing boycotts and protests every week. Not a very nice place to be.

Mark Hughes came along, offered Hoilett a nice juicy contract at QPR who were staying in the Premier League and supposedly had/have big plans.

Championship football under Steve Kean or a pay rise and Premier League under Mark Hughes? Not a tough decision.

Its easy to say with the benefit of hindsight that it hasn't worked out for Hoilett at QPR, but I can't blame him for moving when he did.
I'll probably get slaughtered for saying it but how was it any different to when Friedel went to Villa?
Given that it was the perennial liar Steve Kean who repeatedly said Hoilett was going to sign a new deal does anyone seriously believe that he actually was? Bear in mind that it was around this time that Emerton. Samba, Nelsen and Salgado were all sold/disposed of. I have been informed numerous times that he was never even offered a new contract, despite claims from Kean that he was. Whether he was offered a new deal or not, can anyone really blame Hoilett for clearing off when he did? The club was on its way to relegation, was managed by the worst 'manager' in the history of the club and the Premier League and was facing boycotts and protests every week. Not a very nice place to be. Mark Hughes came along, offered Hoilett a nice juicy contract at QPR who were staying in the Premier League and supposedly had/have big plans. Championship football under Steve Kean or a pay rise and Premier League under Mark Hughes? Not a tough decision. Its easy to say with the benefit of hindsight that it hasn't worked out for Hoilett at QPR, but I can't blame him for moving when he did. I'll probably get slaughtered for saying it but how was it any different to when Friedel went to Villa? jack01
  • Score: 2

4:29pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Blackbunian says...

Jackmetickler identifies a classic case in Alan Shearer. A great player, without whom we would never have won the Premiership. To say that supporters have short memories and are fickle is an understatement as far as Shearer is concerned. The way some Blackburn supporters treated him on the occasions he came back to Ewood Park was pretty disgraceful.
Jackmetickler identifies a classic case in Alan Shearer. A great player, without whom we would never have won the Premiership. To say that supporters have short memories and are fickle is an understatement as far as Shearer is concerned. The way some Blackburn supporters treated him on the occasions he came back to Ewood Park was pretty disgraceful. Blackbunian
  • Score: 5

4:32pm Tue 8 Apr 14

crankitup says...

you have to give the lad some credit....he had the foresight to see where our club was going....nowhere under the venkys....i can't blame the lad for jumping ship...
what i do object to is the way he made us wait....where he should have just come out and said he wanted out....
sorry JH no welcome home here!
you have to give the lad some credit....he had the foresight to see where our club was going....nowhere under the venkys....i can't blame the lad for jumping ship... what i do object to is the way he made us wait....where he should have just come out and said he wanted out.... sorry JH no welcome home here! crankitup
  • Score: 3

4:48pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Blackbunian says...

Jaco1 underlines my point completely. One other point worth remembering about Alan Shearer, he declined to join Manchester United - our nearest rivals at that time - Instead, he went to his home town club where, as we all know, he was a supporters idol, even though unfortunately Newcastle never won any trophies.
Jaco1 underlines my point completely. One other point worth remembering about Alan Shearer, he declined to join Manchester United - our nearest rivals at that time - Instead, he went to his home town club where, as we all know, he was a supporters idol, even though unfortunately Newcastle never won any trophies. Blackbunian
  • Score: 1

6:32pm Tue 8 Apr 14

A Rover 45 years and over says...

We spent a lot of time and investment with a player who could not wait to get away at the first opportunity thinking the world was his oyster. He only plays in flashes for me and isn't good enough for the top flight. Glad he left
We spent a lot of time and investment with a player who could not wait to get away at the first opportunity thinking the world was his oyster. He only plays in flashes for me and isn't good enough for the top flight. Glad he left A Rover 45 years and over
  • Score: 3

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