Richie Smallwood enjoyed the best, but also the worst, 18 months spells of his career at Rovers.

Having signed a two-year deal with Hull City, with the option of a third, he’s looking forward to getting his career back on track having felt it stalled at ewood Park.

Smallwood was released last month, after three years and 87 appearances, which included a run of 52 consecutive league starts after arriving at the club.

Since winning promotion from League One, things have been a little tougher for the combative midfielder, making just six league starts since a red card at Sheffield United in December 2018. He played just twice last season, both in the Carabao Cup, and was part of a Rovers matchday squad in the league on just two occasions.

However, he remained a popular figure around the club, and despite turning down the opportunity to go out on loan to instead fight for his place, he’s now ready for the next chapter of his career.

He will do that with a Hull City side who are reeling from relegation to the Championship after a nightmare 2020, but Smallwood has already won promotion twice from the third tier, and has that on his mind again.

“My career has stalled a bit in the last 18 months, but I’m looking to hit the ground running and get some results to help get Hull City back where they belong,” he said.

“I had the best 18 months of my career after I signed, and then probably the worst 18 months of my career, I’m here to get going again.

“I’ve been around a good set of lads and a good club at Blackburn so feel that I have matured as a player.

“The last 18 months have been a learning curve and one I’m fully looking to put behind me.”

Smallwood was the only ever-present in Rovers’ promotion winning side, and remained around the squad in the second part of the 2018/19, but last season proved to be tough for him to break in to the first-team picture.

Boasting over 300 career appearances however, Smallwood will bring undoubted qualities to the Tigers, and feels it’s a move that will prove beneficial.

He added: “I want to get back playing, some more career appearances under my belt, because the last 18 months have been the worst of my career, so I just want to get back playing and back enjoying football and down to business.

“It’s been a while since I’ve played so I’m looking forward to the games coming thick and fast, it’s what I was used to, and I can’t wait for it.

“Hopefully we can pick up points along the way and put ourselves in a strong position.”

While Rovers dropped into League One five years after relegation from the Premier League, for the Tigers the drop has been more sudden, just three years separating their respective relegations.

Rovers found life tough in the early stages of their League One campaign, losing four of their opening 11, but hit back to lose just two of their next 35 to secure promotion with two games to spare.

And Smallwood told his new club’s website: “No-one here wants to be in this division for too long, that has to be the aim.

“But we’re under no illusions, we know it will be hard, a hard leaguer, the players will soon realise that if they don’t already.

“We’ll take it game by game and each one as it comes.”

Grant McCann praised Smallwood’s battling and leadership qualities when announcing his signing, as well as some much needed knowhow for a young squad.

The former Middlesbrough man hopes to bring those qualities, as well as some experience and play a key role in their side.

“I know about Hull City, where they’ve been and where they’re looking to get back to.

“It’s not really a League One club, it’s a bigger club than that, but we are where we are and we have to get ourselves out of it.

“I’m coming here to do my best to help do that.”