SIMON Eastwood is presenting Gary Bowyer with a real selection headache after putting in another man of the match display on Sunday.

After the match the manager joked that Boro ‘must be preparing a bid’ for the keeper who has played a blinder in both games against the Teesiders when called upon, because Jason Steele can’t play against his parent club.

One game could have been considered a fluke and it was no surprise when Steele was recalled to the starting line-up for the following match.

But after saving us from a potentially embarrassing and one-sided scoreline at Ewood this weekend, Eastwood has to be considered for Saturday’s trip to Charlton in the FA Cup.

As I understand it, whether Steele is eligible to play in the tournament for Rovers as a condition of his loan contract remains to be seen, but even if he is then Eastwood deserves another chance to shine.

Surely you can’t drop a player in the form of his life, and Eastwood’s two performances this season have been nothing short of astounding.

And at a time when the future of the permanent Rovers number one spot is still uncertain with Paul Robinson clearly set to move on, the performances by the current deputy are very refreshing.


If it wasn’t for Eastwood, Rovers could have been heavily beaten at Ewood on Sunday.

Sure, we showed good character once again to ensure a very entertaining game of football in the second half, but Boro’s impressive travelling support will have gone away gutted that they didn’t take their chances.

After a gutting defeat at Bolton in a game we did enough to win, the fear is that we are dropping back towards mid-table at an alarming rate.

Our defence still looks very sloppy at times and you have to wonder how long we can persevere with the current centre back pairing and expect to mount a realistic promotion challenge.

At times we also looked bereft of new ideas going forward.

Of course, only the manager sees the players in training, but I was not alone in my calls for David Dunn to be introduced to the fray on Sunday when it felt we needed a bit of spark and with only two substitutions made in the entire game, I cannot understand why he wasn’t used.

Time and time again the local boy shows that, despite his advancing years, he has the class and skill to change a game.

We just aren’t winning enough games to keep up with the top six at the moment.

And after breaking into the top six not long ago, it is disappointing to find ourselves back five points behind the play-offs.

But as we move into 2015, we have to say 2014 has been the best year for Rovers fans since Venky’s took over and fingers crossed the progress will continue into the New Year.