BLACKBURN Rovers ace David Dunn is ready to shoulder extra responsibility on and off the pitch this season.

The 28-year-old has just become a father for the second time, following the birth of his son Isaac Joseph Dunn.

And the former England international has extra reason to celebrate after new Rovers boss, Paul Ince, made him the club’s vice-captain, taking over from veteran goalkeeper Brad Friedel, who recently left to join Aston Villa.

It’s a far cry from the public fall-out Dunn had with former manager Graeme Souness, which ultimately ended his first spell at Ewood Park.

The midfielder said: “Obv-iously I’m a Blackburn fan so I’m very pleased and if Nelly (Ryan Nelsen) gets injured, then I’ll be delighted to captain the team.”

And Dunn isn’t fazed by his added duties at home or at work!

“I must be getting older,” he said. “But I’ve already got plenty of grey hairs, so I don’t have to worry about that.”

Dunn scored 30 goals during the first stint with his boyhood heroes, but has only netted once since he returned from Birmingham City in January last year.

That is a statistic he is looking forward to remedying this season. After playing in a more defensive role under Mark Hughes, he is hoping to be given more licence to roam forward by The Guv’nor.

And, if called upon, he has promised Ince he will deliver the goods.

He said: “I’m feeling positive and I feel that my touch and fitness are coming back. Fingers crossed, I can kick on into the season.

“I just do whatever I’m asked. Last year Sparky (Hughes) wanted me to play a little bit deeper, which I was happy doing.

“But maybe this year I can bomb on a bit, and get a few more goals.

“A few years ago when I was asked, I always said I set myself a target of 10 goals for the season.

“I feel that if I’m playing regularly and I’m fit, if you look at my goalscoring record, it’s pretty good.”

After the initial upheaval at Ewood at the start of the summer, things are starting to take shape.

And, after a pre-season of team bonding, Dunn has already seen enough to know that Ince can be a success in his first Premier League managerial role.

He added: “There have been big changes, but so far so good.

"If you’re willing to go that extra bit for your mate, then you’ll definitely pick points up.”