Boss Bowyer hails the impact of star defender Spurr
THE voting for Blackburn Rovers’ player of the season may not close until Wednesday but it would not be giving away official secrets to say that Jordan Rhodes and Tom Cairney will be right in the reckoning.
But could they be run close by Tommy Spurr?
The left-back may not grab the headlines as much as his more widely heralded team-mates.
Rovers boss Gary Bowyer, however, has no doubt of Spurr’s worth.
The 26-year-old, as well liked by his fellow players as he is by supporters, has been a model of consistency since he made the move from Doncaster on a free transfer in August.
And had he not aggravated a groin injury against Yeovil Town last Friday which, on the quiet, he has playing with for some time now, he was in line to become the only Rovers player to have started every Championship match this season.
As it was Spurr was forced to sit out Monday’s vital victory at Birmingham City and he is set to do the same at Charlton Athletic today (3pm).
But Bowyer is hopeful the Yorkshireman will be fit in time for the final game of the campaign at home to Wigan Athletic a week today.
He said: “It’s disappointing for Tommy because he’s been an ever present.
“We said when we brought him in he would be a fans’ favourite because he gives everything that’s he got.
“And he doesn’t just do that in matches, he does it in training too, which, to be fair to the other lads, they do too.
“He’s very reliable in his defending and he’s had an impressive season.
“He always wants to improve and get better and we are beginning to see him becoming a big threat in the opposition half for us as well, which is a big bonus.
“Hopefully he can come into consideration for Charlton but if not Wigan.”
Given that Spurr, who has more goals (3) and as many assists (2) as any Rovers defender, has not trained properly since he damaged his groin in preventing a certain goal against Yeovil, it appears unlikely he will feature in today’s clash at The Valley.
The same goes for Jason Lowe.
The midfielder went over on his ankle at Birmingham on Monday.
But with Rovers having used all three of their substitutes, Lowe bravely played on through the pain.
Bowyer said: “I thought Lowey on Monday was magnificent, his energy levels and his performance was terrific.
“It was a bit of a bad blow that he took but credit to the lad he knew that we had made all the substitutions but he wanted to stay out there and help us, so full credit to him.”
Markus Olsson is again expected to deputise for Spurr.
The Sweden international’s performance against Birmingham, in what was just his second start of the season, pleased his manager.
Bowyer said: “I thought Markus Olsson was excellent for us on Monday when he came in.
“He was a threat going forward as well as defending well.”
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