Greg Cunningham toasted the luck of the Irish as Rovers claimed a first win of the season against Middlesbrough.

Cunningham was part of an Irish defensive trio in the Rovers back four which claimed an overdue clean sheet as they moved off the bottom of the table.

The Cardiff City loanee, along with Darragh Lenihan and Derrick Williams, were all named in the Republic of Ireland provisional squad this week ahead of their September matches.

And they marked that by playing a key role in Rovers’ victory as Danny Graham’s first half penalty was enough to secure the victory.

Cunningham has made a promising start to life at Ewood Park after signing on deadline day from the Bluebirds.

And he said after his first league start: “It’s a great bunch of lads here.

“I knew Darragh and Del from the Irish set-up.

“It’s good to build that chemistry. The Irish just get on well together.

“Hopefully we can keep having some good performances, clean sheets and wins.”

Rovers won their first match of the season against Oldham in the Carabao Cup and backed that up against Boro.

The cup win was Cunningham’s debut and he says that last-gasp victory and the Boro success demonstrates a togetherness within the dressing room.

He added: “We prepared right after the cup game on Tuesday to make sure that we make it hard for teams when they come here.

“A clean sheet, three points, we’re off the mark and want to get a run going now.

“It showed what’s in that dressing room. As well as talent everyone has heart and grit and fight and that’s needed in this league when the games come thick and fast.

“We played some great stuff at times and when we needed to dig in at times we did and got the job done.

“Everything they threw at us we dealt with and it’s a lot of pride for the defenders to keep a clean sheet.

“We wanted to get off the mark as soon as we can. The longer it goes on the tougher it gets.

“We look forward to Tuesday on Hull and looking to build on this.”

Cunningham made just eight appearances for the Bluebirds after signing for £4m from Preston last summer. And after a stop-start 2018/19, the 28-year-old is embracing a quick turnaround of matches.

“From a personal point of view it was nice to get back out on the pitch again,” he said. “It’s been a frustrating last year for me. I just want to play football.

“I have come to play games and do what I can for this club.

“I just have to keep my performances high and it’s important to get my recovery right and prepare for Tuesday.”

  • Rovers look set to announce their new Under-23s boss ahead of tonight’s game at Leicester City.

They head to the King Power Stadium to take on the Foxes after defeat to Arsenal last week.

Rovers have been without a permanent manager since Damien Johnson was promoted to the first-team set-up as a technical coach in June, and conducted interviews with six separate candidates.

Academy head of coaching Tony Carss took the side for the Gunners defeat where Stefan Mols was on the scoresheet in a 3-1 defeat.

Meanwhile, Rovers Under-18s won 5-2 at Sunderland on Saturday.