BLACKBURN Rovers midfielder Tom Cairney admits he has found his second season at the club more difficult now that he is a marked man.

Cairney, who won the Rovers player of the year award in his debut campaign at Ewood Park, said: “I think this season has been slightly more difficult for me than last term.


“Perhaps more teams know me and how I play now.

“It’s been harder to find the space I was being afforded last year.

Cairney started the season in superb form.

He scored Rovers’ spectacular equaliser in their opening day draw at home to Cardiff City and then bettered that strike in their 3-1 defeat to Norwich City in the second week of the campaign.

That stunning goal has been voted by Rovers fans as their best of 2014 and will now go up against the best of the rest from across the Football League in the Mitre Goal of the Year competition.

But Cairney, who has been hampered by injuries, has failed to hit the net since.

And the 24-year-old said: “I’m disappointed not to have a few more goals.

“I’ve had chances but keepers have been making saves or I’ve been missing the target.

“I just need one at the minute then hopefully I can go on a little run.

“I did a similar thing with a goal against Barnsley last season, then scored a few afterwards, so I want to repeat that.”

Of his goal against Norwich at Carrow Road Cairney said: “I’d say it was the best goal I’ve ever scored.

“It’s nice for the fans to appreciate it too. It’s quite some honour to score Rovers’ best goal for the whole of 2014.”