Rovers v Brighton: Form is child's play for Conway
NEW dad Craig Conway may have to sleep in the spare room before matchdays to get a good night’s rest but Blackburn Rovers fans will not mind one bit as long as he keeps giving opposition defenders sleepless nights.
The 28-year-old, who became a father to a baby boy named Luca in October, has been in superb form since making a £100,000 move from Cardiff City to Rovers on January transfer deadline day.
The Scotland winger has scored three goals and set up a further four in 10 games and tonight goes head to head with former club Brighton & Hove Albion, with who he enjoyed an impressive loan spell earlier in the campaign and whose players still wish they counted him as a team-mate.
Conway credits the warm welcome he has received from the tight-knit Rovers squad as a big reason behind his flying start.
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And now that his young family are by his side, he hopes to only get stronger.
Irvine-born Conway said: “I’m really enjoying life here and I’m really enjoying playing.
“I’ve scored a few goals quite early on and I’ve been involved in setting a few up so it’s been really good.
“The boys have been really welcoming, my family are settled, and while it have would have been good to pick up a couple more wins, I can’t complain at all.
“You always want to start well and obviously getting a goal in my first start (at Reading) was good and I’ve continued since then.
“I’ve always felt if I can get a run of games I can do myself justice and I’ve been feeling really sharp and getting stronger with every game.
“I enjoy enjoyed my time at Brighton, my son was born down there, but obviously I’m further up north so that makes it a lot easier for family to come and visit us.
“I’ve got everybody here with me now – my wife, my baby and my dog! It’s good as for a few months we were here, there and everywhere.
“My wife was in Cardiff, I was in Brighton, and she was also going going back to Scotland, so it was tough.
“Then I came here and every day after training it was just myself sitting in a hotel. Don’t get me wrong it’s nice at first to be staying in a nice hotel but when the weeks go by you just get fed up and you just want your home comforts.
“But everything is settled now and my baby boy is starting to sleep at night at last – I’m in the spare room before games though!”
Despite Conway’s fine individual form Rovers have managed to take maximum points just once in their last seven matches since his winner at Reading.
Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Millwall did, however, extend their unbeaten run to four games and should they beat fellow play-off hopefuls Brighton tonight, they would move within five points of sixth-placed Reading with seven matches to play.
Conway, who won the Championship with Cardiff last season, prefers to look no further ahead than the clash with the Seagulls.
He said: “I’m sorry to bore you but for me it’s about taking one game at a time.
“We’ll start with the Brighton game and if we get three points from that, then great, and then we’ll go to the next one.”
Conway certainly will not be underestimating the Seagulls.
But neither will they be underestimating him.
Oscar Garcia’s men won six, drew four and lost three of the 13 Championship matches Conway was involved in, including a 3-0 victory over Rovers in November’s reverse fixture between the teams in November.
Since Conway’s loan ended in December they have won seven, drawn four and lost seven.
Brighton boss Garcia was keen to re-sign the former Dundee United wide man on loan in January.
But a deal could not be agreed and his loss has been very much Rovers’ gain.
Seagulls left-back Stephen Ward, who could be marking Conway tonight, said: “Craig’s a great player for them and he was great when he was here.
“He’ll try to get crosses in and take people on.
“He’s one of those wingers that does his defensive duties as well so he is an all-round good winger, a great lad as well and one that we really missed when he left here.
“He was somebody all the lads had a lot of time for. He put a real shift in and that is something you need in the modern day.
“I am sure Blackburn are reaping the benefits. I just hope tomorrow he is not at the top of his game.”
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