SAM: I’LL GIVE IT BEST SHOT

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO RESULTS - By Ben Baker

SAM Gal­lagher could well be en­joy­ing life in the Premier League next sea­son, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care what hap­pens to Black­burn at the end of this cam­paign.

Rovers took a loan punt on the Southamp­ton striker last sum­mer, and he re­paid them with 11 goals by the be­gin­ning of Fe­bru­ary.

The well has dried up since, but it hasn’t been for the want of try­ing, with Gal­lagher work­ing hard to keep Black­burn from slip­ping into the third tier for the first time since 1979.

“While it has been a tough and dis­ap­point­ing sea­son for Black­burn, I have still re­ally been en­joy­ing my­self,” said the 21-year-old, who has a con­tract at Southamp­ton un­til the sum­mer of 2018.

“And while I am only on loan un­til the end of the sea­son, I feel so much loy­alty to the club and am fight­ing just as much as the boys who are there per­ma­nently.

“Black­burn gave me the op­por­tu­nity this sea­son to show what I can do in the Cham­pi­onship af­ter a tough time with in­jury and I am grate­ful for that.

Op­por­tu­nity

“We have been un­lucky at times and I want to do my best be­tween now and the end of the sea­son to keep Black­burn in the Cham­pi­onship.”

The man who brought Gal­lagher to Ewood Park, Owen Coyle, was cer­tainly a big fan, ad­mit­ting that he ‘would love to’ buy the on-loan striker who he felt was ‘go­ing to be a bona fide Premier League player’.

But in Fe­bru­ary, Coyle was axed and 24 hours later Tony Mow­bray was given the wheel of a sink­ing ship.

Head­ing into the Easter week­end, Gal­lagher had failed to find the net un­der for­mer Coven­try boss Mow­bray but the striker – who has fea­tured for Eng­land Un­der-20s – has con­fi­dence in the lat­est man in charge.

“Owen Coyle was good for me per­son­ally and for a lot of the boys,” added Gal­lagher, who on Mon­day gave Oswaldtwistle St Mary’s FC un­der-13s a tour of Black­burn’s train­ing ground as part of Wickes’ Kits for Kids cam­paign.

Con­fi­dence

“He gave me con­fi­dence, helped me out a lot and put a lot of trust in me to play so many games fol­low­ing a tricky time.

“It is al­ways hard when clubs make changes but we adapted well and took on board what the new gaffer wanted – and we got good re­sults.

“We started well and it was a shame that we couldn’t keep our un­beaten run go­ing (Black­burn were un­de­feated in Mow­bray’s first seven matches) but we have some big games com­ing up to set that right and we will keep work­ing hard.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

DE­TER­MINED: Sam Gal­lagher

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