Varney has no complaints about playing back-up to red-hot Rovers striker Gestede (From This Is Lancashire)
Varney has no complaints about playing back-up to red-hot Rovers striker Gestede
LUKE Varney returns to his former club Charlton Athletic tomorrow knowing there is a strong possibility he will start from the bench for the fifth game running.
For a player who admits he is yet to make his mark since signing on loan from troubled Leeds United that is not ideal.
But there is no chance the 31-year-old will be banging down Blackburn Rovers Gary Bowyer’s door come Monday morning.
Varney is not that sort of player and, besides, he has too much respect for his manager and for the striker currently in front of him in the pecking order – red-hot Rudy Gestede, whose hat-trick in Monday’s 4-2 win at Birmingham City kept Rovers’ hopes of a play-off place alive going into the trip to The Valley.
“You want to make your mark on the squad and I don’t think I’ve quite done that yet,” said Varney, who has made 12 appearances, nine as a substitute, following his February switch from Elland Road.
“But I’m enjoying being part of it and coming from Leeds, where it was quite negative, it’s been brilliant to be involved with a team who are trying to keep their season alive.
“I must admit the teams I’ve been at before when I was younger and naïve, I wouldn’t have moaned as I’m not that sort of lad, but I would have been thinking ‘I should be playing’.
“But I understand my position at the minute. I’ve spoken to the gaffer about it and I’m backing Rudy up every step of the way because I know 100 per cent he’d do the same for me.
“There is that sort of feeling around the squad. It’s brilliant and I’m happier than anyone to see Rudy getting goals in games and seeing him in training smashing them in. His confidence is flying and he can only help us.
“Yes I’ve had a couple of bad days with not playing but the gaffer saw that and picked me up.
“The main factor here is the gaffer is honest and he keeps you in the loop. The communication with the players who are not playing is just as important as the ones who are playing.
“When you’re not playing it’s quite easy to switch off and not keep your mentality right but that’s not the case here.
“The gaffer says to us we have to keep ready. He keeps you on your toes and it’s easy to be involved with a squad and staff like this.”
Rovers head to relegation-threatened Charlton tomorrow on the back of a 10-match unbeaten run.
And Varney revealed it has been inspired by a challenge from Bowyer.
“It must have been about eight games ago that the gaffer set us a challenge to go unbeaten,” said the former Crewe Alexandra, Derby County and Blackpool frontman.
“We’ve done that and while we were obviously disappointed with a couple of draws that should have been wins, we have beaten some good teams along the way and some teams who are scrapping for their lives.”
Another of those sides is Charlton, who Varney signed for in a £2m deal in May 2007 from Crewe.
“It was a big move for me at the time but I thought it was the right thing to do,” he said.
“I really enjoyed my time down there but then the manager, Alan Pardew, left and I didn’t know where I fitted in so when an offer from Derby came in I took it.
“But I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the place.”
Varney’s loan runs out on May 11, meaning he would not be able to play in the play-offs should Rovers secure a top-six spot.
But he hopes to be make a permanent move to Ewood Park once his Leeds contract expires in the summer.
Varney said: “I’ve made it clear I want to stay, I think the gaffer sees it that way too, so I’m hoping I’ll be here.”
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