BLACKBURN Rovers youngster Ryan Edwards is aiming to break into Gary Bowyer’s first-team squad after returning from a three-month spell with League Two title challengers Chesterfield.

The 19-year-old Liverpudlian made seven appearances during his time at the Spireites, where he worked under former Burnley midfielder and ex-Accrington Stanley boss Paul Cook.

Edwards, who captained Rovers to the FA Youth Cup final in 2012, said: “The loan was good and I played seven games out of about 12 or 13.

“Obviously I played centre-back but I also filled in at right-back as well, which I didn’t know I could do.

“I rate Paul Cook really highly. I rate him as the best manager I’ve worked with so far at first-team level. The belief and trust he puts in you is unbelievable.

“Three months is the shortest loan I’ve had, as I did four at Fleetwood Town at the end of last year and six at Rochdale last year as well, and I think Paul Cook brought me on the most as a player.

“I’ve played nearly 50 games now in the league and the FA Cup and stuff like that.

“I just want to keep getting more really and hopefully push on into the Blackburn senior squad.”

Meanwhile, Edwards’ fellow defender Anthony O’Connor continues to impress on loan at League Two side Torquay.

The Republic of Ireland U21s international had his stay extended by a further month last week.

And O’Connor responded by producing his best display in a Torquay shirt in their 3-1 victory at relegation rivals Bury on Saturday.

Fit-again Gulls defender Aaron Downes grabbed the headlines after he marked his comeback from injury with a goal.

But the Australian believes it was his young centre-back partner O’Connor who deserved all the credit.

Downes said: “Personally I didn't think I played that well but Anthony was outstanding.

“I think Anthony’s character really shone at Bury.

“He stood up like a man and put in a really good performance.”