Rovers boss: We won't rush Robinson
BLACKBURN Rovers are yet to put a date on Paul Robinson’s return to the first team – with Gary Bowyer taking a cautious approach to the goalkeeper’s comeback.
Robinson has not played for Rovers for a year but continued his comeback from back surgery and a blood clot with a 90-minute run-out in the under 21s’ 2-0 loss to Middlesbrough on Monday night.
The 34-year-old England international, who also featured in a behind closed doors game against Carlisle last week, is keen to get back in action as soon as possible but is likely to feature in more matches before making his first-team return.
Bowyer wants to be sure that Robinson is ready and has been reluctant to reveal when he expects the keeper to be in contention.
“It’s the same with anybody after injury,” said the Rovers boss, whose own career was curtailed by a back injury.
“When they’re coming back after a long period, you can’t just rush them back in.
“He’ll tell you different to what we think as a medical team, we’re just taking it game by game and seeing how he recovers from it.
“But he’s going in the right direction.
“The worst part of being a footballer is being injured and at times it’s very lonely and you wonder whether you’ll get back.
“But he’s worked very hard with the medical staff and he’s reaping the rewards now, because he’s nearing full fitness.”
Robinson was delighted to be back in action with the under 21s against Middlesbrough.
“It’s exactly 12 months since I last played and for someone in my position it’s difficult to not play for 12 months,” he told Rovers Player.
“It’s been a long wait and it was nice to be back on the pitch.
“I played a game at the training ground last week and didn’t really get much out of it because they were difficult conditions, but I feel like I got a lot out of this game.
“It’s just that final bit now, I need to keep pushing and keep working hard.
“I don’t want to put a time or a date on it but I feel good.
“I’ll see how the next week or two weeks go and see where I end up.”
Simon Eastwood has started Rovers’ last two matches after moving in front of Jake Kean in the pecking order, and Bowyer is relishing the prospect of a three-way battle for the keeper’s jersey.
Robinson appears favourite to win the battle, with many years of Premier League football under his belt.
“Paul is going to provide competition for the goalkeeping spot, which is great for us as a squad,” said the manager.
“His experience, his talking and know-how will also prove invaluable throughout the season.
“We’ve got Jake and Easty fighting it out, and Robbo is going to come into that as well.
“Competition is good. We’re getting competition here and people aren’t happy because they’re not playing, which only adds to the competition.
“People then are fighting for their places, which puts pressure on, but it’s good pressure.”
Rovers under 21 boss Eric Kinder handed a debut to Connor Mahoney against Middlesbrough, with the 16-year-old featuring as a substitute after signing from Accrington Stanley last week. Markus Olsson, Fabio Nunes and Yann Songo’o also played.
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