BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer believes Markus Olsson’s ‘magnificent’ form has vindicated his decision to hand the left back a new contract.

Bowyer pushed for the Sweden international to be handed a one-year deal in the summer despite the fact that he started just four games last season.


But, with first choice left back Tommy Spurr sidelined since the start of the campaign with a fresh groin problem, Olsson has rewarded his manager by producing the best performances of his career.

The 26-year-old has missed just one league match so far this season, because of a family bereavement, and he is set to start in Saturday’s trip to an Ipswich Town team who were reportedly interested in signing him before he committed his future to Rovers.

Bowyer said: “Markus has played the best football of his career.

“He’s had 10 games and his level of performance has been absolutely magnificent.

“We felt it was important to keep him in the squad and you have to back your judgement.

“His performances toward the back end of last season, when Tommy first got injured, were excellent and fortunately for us he’s backed it up this season.”

Spurr, who was an ever present in the league last season until a groin injury ruled him out of the final three games of the campaign, will play no part at Portman Road on Saturday.

Instead he will feature in tomorrow night’s U21s Premier League clash against Arsenal at Boreham Wood FC.

And one of Spurr’s tasks will be to keep tabs on England striker Theo Walcott.

Walcott missed the World Cup after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in January.

But, after returning to training on Monday, he is set to make his Gunners comeback after nine months out against Rovers’ development side.

Grant Hanley, however, does have a chance of playing against Ipswich.

The Rovers captain hurt his knee in Scotland’s 1-0 home win over Georgia on Saturday.

That meant he had to sit out his national team’s 2-2 draw in Poland on Tuesday.

But Hanley has been back at Brockhall every day this week and is thought to be responding well to treatment.

Winger Josh King suffered a back injury playing for Norway on Monday and will today return to Rovers’ training base to be assessed.