NEW Blackburn Rovers club captain Grant Hanley has made it his mission to lead his team into the play-offs.
The 22-year-old believes Rovers have given themselves a ‘great opportunity’ of making the top six.
And, after taking over the skipper’s armband from the departed Scott Dann, Hanley is determined to guide them there.
The defender said: “The captaincy is something I’m looking forward to, it’s a great opportunity for me and hopefully I can take it in my stride and help us put a run of wins together and push up the league.
“We’ve put ourselves in a good place so we’ve got a great opportunity.
“We’ve just got to get a bit of consistency going now and hopefully we can push for those play-off positions.”
Hanley marked his first match since being appointed the club’s new captain with a goal as Rovers beat Blackpool last weekend to remain five points behind sixth-placed Reading going into tomorrow’s trip to Middlesbrough.
However it was not the first time this season that Hanley had skippered Gary Bowyer’s side as he previously deputised for Dann on four occasions.
It was during one of Dann’s absences from the team through injury that the Scotland international was sent off for violent conduct while wearing the armband in the 2-1 defeat at Wigan Athletic.
Hanley, who swiftly apologised to Rovers boss Bowyer, his team-mates and supporters, admits he has learned from the incident.
“It was daft what happened and people might have doubted me but there was never any doubt in my mind,” said academy graduate Hanley, who has captained Rovers at youth and reserve team level.
“I spoke to Gary after it happened and he assured me that he had full confidence in me.
“I realise what a big responsibility the job of club captain is especially at such a big club.”
Hanley was disappointed to see centre-back partner Dann leave for Crystal Palace on transfer deadline day but he has no doubt Matt Kilgallon will fill his boots.
Bowyer is expected to look for cover for Kilgallon and Hanley when the window for loan transfers reopens tomorrow.
The Rovers manager is also scouring the market for another striker and possibly a winger too after Josh King joined Ben Marshall on the treatment table.
King is set to be out for up to three weeks after sustaining a hamstring strain in the 2-0 home win over Blackpool.
Lee Williamson missed that match through concussion but he will return to Bowyer’s squad for tomorrow’s clash with Middlesbrough.
Adam Henley, who has been troubled by an Achilles problem, and the fit-again Corry Evans, after nearly four months out with ankle-ligament damage, could be part of the Rovers’ travelling party.