Darragh Lenihan admits a first international call-up was a ‘welcome surprise’ but the Rovers defender says strong club form is his main focus.

Lenihan was named in the Republic of Ireland’s 30-man provisional squad for next week’s friendly with Turkey.

It marked an excellent few weeks for the 23-year-old, who has looked back to his best in his six Rovers outings following a six month lay-off with a fractured metatarsal.

Tony Mowbray’s men have won four of the six matches in which Lenihan has featured, keeping three clean sheets, as they have cemented top spot in League One.

On his call-up, he said: “It was a welcome surprise. I didn’t think I was going to get called up.

“That comes from your club form and I just want to keep getting better and better for Blackburn and the rest will take care of itself.

“It would be huge (to make the full squad), it’s been a dream of mine since I was a child.

“Fingers crossed it comes about but if it doesn’t then I will focus on Blackburn between now and the end of the season and do the best for the club.”

Lenihan’s Rovers team-mate Derrick Williams was also one of the uncapped players named in Martin O’Neill’s 30 man provisional squad.

That will be trimmed to 25 after this weekend’s fixtures, with the Rovers pair aiming to make the final cut.

While pleased to be in the thoughts of his national team boss, it is Mowbray who Lenihan is out to impress.

He added: “It gives you that extra spurt but at the moment I want to be in Tony Mowbray’s thoughts and no-one else’s thoughts.

“It’s going to be an important few weeks between now and the end of the season and hopefully we can get the job done.”

Lenihan was injured on the opening day at Southend United and didn’t make his return until the 2-1 win at Portsmouth on February 13.

He has started the five games since, and after a disappointing end to the campaign, Lenihan is looking to aim it on a high.

“Football can change quickly, good or bad,” the Irishman said.

“You have to take it as it comes and do what you have to do, and give your best.

“Your club form dictates the international stuff so play well for Blackburn and everything will take care of itself.

Rovers maintained their five point lead at the top of the table with the 3-0 win over Blackpool which came courtesy of an Adam Armstrong double and Bradley Dack header.

They held out for a 13th clean sheet of the campaign, something which Lenihan believes could be key to their fortunes.

He said: “After the disappointment of Wigan, we knew it was going to be a tough game, especially with Gary Bowyer being an ex-manager here.

“He will have had the Blackpool players motivated but I felt we matched their motivation and determination and in the end ran out very good winners.

“We had let two disappointing goals in against Wigan the week before and we knew we needed to stay solid as a team, not just the back four and goalkeeper.

“The lads up front are going to score goals.

“If we can stay organised and do our jobs at the back then I’m sure the lads up front will score most games.

“But it’s all about the wins. Clean sheets are important playing in the back but winning the games and getting points is the main thing.

“These nine games, if you have win 5-4 then three points are three points at the end of the day.

“That’s what we’ll be looking for between now and the end of the season.”

Darragh Lenihan was speaking at the Blackburn Rovers Indoor Centre at Ewood Park where he joined in with the coaching session for pupils from Olive Tree School in Blackburn.