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Bowyer: Hanley will lead Scots

Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer spoke of his belief that Grant Hanley will one day be an international captain after his goal helped Rovers to a 2-0 win over Blackpool.

Last Updated: 01/02/14 at 19:00 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Sky Bet Championship. Click here to bet.

Gary Bowyer: Delighted with Grant Hanley's leadership

Gary Bowyer: Delighted with Grant Hanley's leadership

Hanley has been appointed club captain after the departure of Scott Dann to Crystal Palace on deadline day and he marshalled the defence superbly before rounding off his performance by heading in his first goal of the season nine minutes from time to keep Rovers in touch with the play-offs.

David Dunn opened the scoring after 19th minute with a crisp, low drive and after Hanley's header confirmed the win, Bowyer spoke of his new captain's leadership.

He said: "I've seen him do the job for many a year at youth level and reserve level and he's captain material. I know other people have spoken about him being national captain for Scotland one day and I honestly believe he'll do that.

"He wants the job, is an organiser and he leads by example. He gets the respect of the old players as well, which says a hell of a lot for him as a person and a player, and I can't speak highly enough of him. I thought his performance was superb."

Blackburn's win ended a run of four games without a win in all competitions, and Bowyer praised the 'professional job' from his team.

"It was important that we turned our performances into wins and we're delighted that we've done that," Bowyer said.

"I thought it was a very professional job today. Barry Ferguson's got them fighting for their lives and it took a bit of brilliance from Dunny to unlock them but we felt we should have been more up with the possession we had in the first half, been more clinical but in terms of the performance, very professional."

Bowyer also reserved special praise for Craig Conway, who made an impressive 21-minute cameo on his debut after signing from Cardiff City on deadline day to set up Hanley's goal.

He said: "He's going to play a massive part for us. His desire to get here and join us, he drove through the night to get here.

"People speak highly of him as a person and after 48 hours of knowing him, they're right. He's a good person and when he goes on the pitch he contributes massively."

The result extends Blackpool's woeful recent record. They have only picked up two points from the last 12 games and have lost their last eight on the road in all competitions, but interim player-manager Barry Ferguson is adamant the squad is good enough to survive a relegation battle.

He said: "I sat down in the dressing room and I said to the players, 'if you look through our squad and you add Ricardo Fuller and Jack Robinson to that, I'd take that squad over anybody's'.

"All they need is a bit of belief and I need to spend a bit of time with them.

"I think it's a quality squad and I think it's good enough without a doubt, and they need to believe in that. I wouldn't be sat here if I wasn't confident that I could do it."

Dunn weaved forward 10 yards before letting fly for the opening goal, but Ferguson felt his side did not do enough to prevent the chance.

"I wouldn't say it was a bit of magic," he said.

"I thought it was pretty easy for him to waltz through our midfield and onto our defence, which I was disappointed with.

"But I thought we looked solid right up until that moment, had a game plan in mind and it was working until we gave that sloppy goal away."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

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