O'Connor ready to step up

Defender Anthony O'Connor feels he is ready to make the step up to Blackburn Rovers' first team this season.

Last Updated: 04/08/14 at 08:38 Post Comment

Gary Bowyer: Receives high praise from Anthony O'Connor

Gary Bowyer: Receives high praise from Anthony O'Connor

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The 21-year-old defender is yet to make an appearance for Rovers' senior side after spending the past two campaigns on loan with Burton and then Torquay.

O'Connor feels those spells in Sky Bet League Two have helped his development and he is now keen to become the next academy product promoted to Gary Bowyer's first team.

"I've come on leaps and bounds," said O'Connor.

"First year I went out to Burton Albion and played a full season as full-back and then went to Torquay and more or less played a full season at centre-back. They're two different positions but I feel I developed really well in both.

"I'm not looking to nail down a starting position; it's just a case of where the gaffer wants me to play, where he sees me best and what game suits more. I don't really mind; we'll see what happens."

Asked if he felt this would be the season he made the step up, the Irishman added: "It could be, yeah.

"We'll look at it again in a couple of weeks. If the gaffer doesn't see me in his plans straight away then I'll probably look at another loan, go out and get more games under my belt.

"But you never know what can happen in football. God forbid there could be injuries and then you're called back and thrown in to the deep end all of a sudden. I've just got to keep my head down and wait for the call, I suppose."

Bowyer's penchant for using young players could well work in O'Connor's favour. Blackburn's current boss helped shape the careers of Manchester United and England defender Phil Jones, as well as Rovers' current captain Grant Hanley while working with the youth teams.

"The gaffer was the academy manager at one stage and then the reserve manager so he knows all the young lads really well," O'Connor noted.

"I know him quite well; I've been with him since I've first come and known him many years. He's got a job to do. He's the manager and picks the team, he's not just going to throw a young lad in just because he's come through the academy. If he feels like a young lad is ready...as they say if you're good enough, you're old enough.

"I've played with Grant through the academy and the reserves and he's come on leaps and bounds. He's the captain now and he's an example for all us younger lads that if you put your head down and put the work in then it will happen for you.

"It's good to be playing alongside players like that because they're constantly talking to you. I feel I'm developing all the time."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think Finnegans Wake would have been a better reference point than Ulysses. Far more rambling and incomprehensible.

debra2927
Football People On TV: Garth Crooks

I

f I recall correctly, Degsy predicted a 100/1 shot correctly the week after his 150/1 Blackpool 4 - 3 Bolton call. I stuck a fiver on it as an idle bet. Paid for a stag do in Munich. Heady days...

baldini
Backing Hull To Beat United 2-1...

R

odgers prefers Joe Allen to Lucas? If this is true then I'm setting aside a fortnight to finally learn the rules of American Football and I'll give up on real football.

godzilla
The Jammy Gossip

Footer 365

Carlton Cole doesn't know if he will stay at West Ham next season

West Ham striker Carlton Cole revealed he still does not know where his future lies beyond this season.

Louis van Gaal believes David De Gea will stay at Manchester United

Louis van Gaal believes David De Gea will stay at Manchester United despite speculation linking him with Real Madrid.

Roy Hodgson wants Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard on England coaching staff

Roy Hodgson wants Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard on the England coaching team when they retire from playing.

Mail Box

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

Don't Slate Sterling For Ambition...

Raheem Sterling deserves credit for his desire to quit Liverpool, according to one mailboxer. Also: why football should not be compared to business and Degsy's latest spot of bother...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company