Kilgallon ready to stake claim at Blackburn Rovers
MATT Kilgallon has vowed to make the centre-back position his own after waiting patiently for his first start for Blackburn Rovers.
The summer signing from Sunderland has spent the majority of the season on the sidelines due to injury and the form of Scott Dann and Grant Hanley.
But, after captain Dann was ruled out of Sunday’s defeat at Wigan, Kilgallon was man of the match.
And with Hanley suspended for the next three games following his sending off against the Latics, Kilgallon is keen to take his chance of earning a regular spot in his favoured centre back position.
He said: “When I came to the club the gaffer said to me Grant and Scott had played really, really well at the end of last season and had almost kept the team up.
“So he said he was going to start with them and I said, ‘no problem, I’ll wait’.
“Then I got injured. I was gutted with that but I’d rather come into a team that’s playing well than a team that’s struggling.
“So it’s been good to see the lads playing well as we’re all good mates.
“But you’ll always get your chance in football and that’s why you have to wait patiently and train hard.
“You won’t help yourself if you’re moaning and sulking around the place. I’ve got my chance now.”
The loss to Wigan left Rovers in ninth position and five points off the play-offs places going into the international break.
Kilgallon is confident they will start to close the gap on the top six when they return to action at home to struggling Charlton on Saturday week.
The former Leeds and Sheffield United defender said: “We’re hovering around ninth or 10th but another two wins and we’ll soon climb the table.
“Obviously we want to be first but I think we’re happy with how it’s coming together.”
Kilgallon was proud of how Rovers performed at Wigan after Hanley was red carded and he believes the late heartbreak could actually aid their promotion push.
Kilgallon said: “It happened at Sheffield United, we lost 6-0 at Arsenal in the League Cup, and we all sat down in the changing room and said we’d learn from it.
“We went on and hardly lost a game until the end of the season and ended up in the play-offs.
“It is a similar thing to what happened there (Wigan). We learned a lot about each other and showed we all want to work for each other.”
Meanwhile, Rovers boss Gary Bowyer hopes striker DJ Campbell will join in full training today.