I've nowhere near reached my capabilities, says Blackburn Rovers midfielder Tom Cairney

Blackburn Rovers midfielder Tom Cairney

Blackburn Rovers midfielder Tom Cairney

First published in Sport This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Blackburn Rovers reporter

WHAT will be music to the ears of Blackburn Rovers supporters will sound as a warning of intent to the rest of the Championship.

For Tom Cairney insists he has nowhere reached his capabilities.

That claim, said with some conviction, comes on the back of the 23-year-old’s outstanding debut campaign at Ewood Park.

Six goals and eight assists, aligned with some sparkling midfield displays, led Cairney to being named Rovers’ player of the year.

That he beat the reigning champion, Jordan Rhodes, to the prize was impressive enough given the free-scoring striker enjoyed another prolific season in front of goal.

But what made Cairney’s achievement all the more noteworthy was the fact that he played most of the campaign out of position on the right wing.

“I was pleased with my performances, I think I played well, in a different position too,” said Cairney.

“I’ve never played on the wing in my career before. I’ve played in the hole, I’ve played sitting, and I’ve played in the middle, but never on the wing.

“I still think there’s more to come. I’m only 23 and I think I’ve nowhere near reached my capabilities.

“I’ve just got to carry on working hard but I definitely think there’s more to come, especially next season.”

And it seems likely that Cairney will get the chance to operate in his natural position, in the centre of the park, in 2014-15.

The former Hull City starlet finished the 2013-14 campaign as the main man in the middle after Josh King returned to fitness and form.

And with Ben Marshall back from injury and ready to challenge King and Craig Conway for a place on the flanks, Cairney could start the new season there too.

“My most natural position is in the middle,” said Cairney, who completed a £600,000 permanent move from Hull in January after his initial six-month loan spell ended.

“That’s what I came in as and that’s what people have me down as.

“But I think I can play out wide.

“I’m still learning to play there but it’s something I got used to the more I done it and I did manage to get into some good positions.

“But wherever the manager puts me on the pitch, I’ll just try and do what I am good at.”

Rovers boss Gary Bowyer certainly knows what his star midfielder is good at.

Last week he hailed Cairney’s ability to keep possession and find holes in opposition defences with piercing and probing through passes as ‘Premiership quality’.

Anyone who witnessed Cairney’s displays in the Rovers’ FA Cup clashes with Manchester City in January – particularly the initial tie between the teams – would pay testament to that.

The former Scotland U21s international may have been rubbing shoulders with the likes of Yaya Toure, David Silva, Fernandinho and Jesus Navas.

But he looked far from out of place in both of the third-round encounters – a 1-1 draw at Ewood and a harsh 5-0 replay reverse at the Etihad Stadium – as he proved he has the talent to operate on the big stage.

“It was a great experience playing Man City but there is still a bit of feeling in me that we should have turned them over at home, especially after they had a man sent off,” said Cairney.

“Once we fell 2-0 down at the Etihad it made for a long second half but it was still an amazing experience to walk out in that arena and play against those world stars.

“I’m sure I speak for all the boys when I say it would be a dream come true to be playing against the likes of them every week.

“That’s definitely something we’ve got to aim for.”

Despite a storming 12-game unbeaten run to end the campaign, Rovers missed out on the play-offs by two points last season.

But Cairney has no doubts that they have what it takes to finish in the top six this time around.

He said: “The gaffer has got a mainly young, British squad together and everyone works for each other.

“We’re exciting and we always look like we’re going to score goals. Maybe at times we were naive with our defending as a team and conceded some sloppy goals.

“But I think it will eventually all come together and we’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”

Comments (20)

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5:50pm Sun 6 Jul 14

studentrover1995 says...

At Cairney's age, Adam Lallana was playing in league 1. They are fairly similar players and wouldn't be surprised if cairney had a similar rise.
At Cairney's age, Adam Lallana was playing in league 1. They are fairly similar players and wouldn't be surprised if cairney had a similar rise. studentrover1995
  • Score: 24

7:32pm Sun 6 Jul 14

BlueSkies says...

Bring it on Tom. The harder you work the more successful you become.

Looking forward to the new season.
Bring it on Tom. The harder you work the more successful you become. Looking forward to the new season. BlueSkies
  • Score: 11

8:01pm Sun 6 Jul 14

I am the voice of my own god says...

Yawn!!! More desperate words from a desperate club full of average players...the rest of the championship must be running for the hills
Yawn!!! More desperate words from a desperate club full of average players...the rest of the championship must be running for the hills I am the voice of my own god
  • Score: -45

9:23pm Sun 6 Jul 14

keanoutofrovers says...

I am the voice of my own god wrote:
Yawn!!! More desperate words from a desperate club full of average players...the rest of the championship must be running for the hills
Matt Gilks
Marvin Sordell
Matt Taylor

The rest of the Premiership must be...........laughin
g

Still the good news is at least you won't have to watch it. Shame you didn't watch them go up last year.
[quote][p][bold]I am the voice of my own god[/bold] wrote: Yawn!!! More desperate words from a desperate club full of average players...the rest of the championship must be running for the hills[/p][/quote]Matt Gilks Marvin Sordell Matt Taylor The rest of the Premiership must be...........laughin g Still the good news is at least you won't have to watch it. Shame you didn't watch them go up last year. keanoutofrovers
  • Score: 11

10:21pm Sun 6 Jul 14

digitusjonfred says...

I am the voice of my own god wrote:
Yawn!!! More desperate words from a desperate club full of average players...the rest of the championship must be running for the hills
go back to play pocket billiards like you were before !!
[quote][p][bold]I am the voice of my own god[/bold] wrote: Yawn!!! More desperate words from a desperate club full of average players...the rest of the championship must be running for the hills[/p][/quote]go back to play pocket billiards like you were before !! digitusjonfred
  • Score: 7

10:52pm Sun 6 Jul 14

Pembina says...

I am the voice of my own god wrote:
Yawn!!! More desperate words from a desperate club full of average players...the rest of the championship must be running for the hills
Good heavens - this guy's Yoga class must have finished already.
[quote][p][bold]I am the voice of my own god[/bold] wrote: Yawn!!! More desperate words from a desperate club full of average players...the rest of the championship must be running for the hills[/p][/quote]Good heavens - this guy's Yoga class must have finished already. Pembina
  • Score: 5

7:52am Mon 7 Jul 14

BlackburnRoversFC f*****g hate burnley says...

I am the voice of my own god wrote:
Yawn!!! More desperate words from a desperate club full of average players...the rest of the championship must be running for the hills
Same old burnley, obsessed with rovers!!!!
[quote][p][bold]I am the voice of my own god[/bold] wrote: Yawn!!! More desperate words from a desperate club full of average players...the rest of the championship must be running for the hills[/p][/quote]Same old burnley, obsessed with rovers!!!! BlackburnRoversFC f*****g hate burnley
  • Score: 0

8:18am Mon 7 Jul 14

A Darener says...

They have to be obsessed with the Rovers. Their tiny club isn't worth bothering about. Although it gives us a chance to take the .... out of them.
They have to be obsessed with the Rovers. Their tiny club isn't worth bothering about. Although it gives us a chance to take the .... out of them. A Darener
  • Score: 1

8:38am Mon 7 Jul 14

Look Up Blackburn says...

"Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes wants a pay rise at Blackburn Rovers after the Ewood Park outfit rejected an £8m bid from Norwich for the player."


Oh dear.... looks like Jordan might be on his way, you're already giving him £40,000 a week, looks like he wants out and is using this as his leverage...
"Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes wants a pay rise at Blackburn Rovers after the Ewood Park outfit rejected an £8m bid from Norwich for the player." Oh dear.... looks like Jordan might be on his way, you're already giving him £40,000 a week, looks like he wants out and is using this as his leverage... Look Up Blackburn
  • Score: -8

8:54am Mon 7 Jul 14

Rovertheedge says...

Look Up Blackburn wrote:
"Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes wants a pay rise at Blackburn Rovers after the Ewood Park outfit rejected an £8m bid from Norwich for the player."


Oh dear.... looks like Jordan might be on his way, you're already giving him £40,000 a week, looks like he wants out and is using this as his leverage...
How come reports of Ings and all Burnley related articles are not to be believed, but all stories about Rovers are true?

get a grip tiny dingle
[quote][p][bold]Look Up Blackburn[/bold] wrote: "Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes wants a pay rise at Blackburn Rovers after the Ewood Park outfit rejected an £8m bid from Norwich for the player." Oh dear.... looks like Jordan might be on his way, you're already giving him £40,000 a week, looks like he wants out and is using this as his leverage...[/p][/quote]How come reports of Ings and all Burnley related articles are not to be believed, but all stories about Rovers are true? get a grip tiny dingle Rovertheedge
  • Score: 3

10:08am Mon 7 Jul 14

Welsh Rover says...

Rovertheedge wrote:
Look Up Blackburn wrote:
"Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes wants a pay rise at Blackburn Rovers after the Ewood Park outfit rejected an £8m bid from Norwich for the player."


Oh dear.... looks like Jordan might be on his way, you're already giving him £40,000 a week, looks like he wants out and is using this as his leverage...
How come reports of Ings and all Burnley related articles are not to be believed, but all stories about Rovers are true?

get a grip tiny dingle
It's from the Daily Mirror so it must be true...
[quote][p][bold]Rovertheedge[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Look Up Blackburn[/bold] wrote: "Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes wants a pay rise at Blackburn Rovers after the Ewood Park outfit rejected an £8m bid from Norwich for the player." Oh dear.... looks like Jordan might be on his way, you're already giving him £40,000 a week, looks like he wants out and is using this as his leverage...[/p][/quote]How come reports of Ings and all Burnley related articles are not to be believed, but all stories about Rovers are true? get a grip tiny dingle[/p][/quote]It's from the Daily Mirror so it must be true... Welsh Rover
  • Score: 9

10:44am Mon 7 Jul 14

MatthewCA says...

Rovers’ FA Cup clashes with Manchester City at Ewoodpark, Tom Cairney miss a golden chance from his left foot, The champion players are always on a positive note to WIN matchs.
Cainey and Conway will be the key players in center and right wing this season.

I hope Todd Kane and Kane from manchester united will join back on loan again to balance the team.

any news with Rochina :-----?
Rovers’ FA Cup clashes with Manchester City at Ewoodpark, Tom Cairney miss a golden chance from his left foot, The champion players are always on a positive note to WIN matchs. Cainey and Conway will be the key players in center and right wing this season. I hope Todd Kane and Kane from manchester united will join back on loan again to balance the team. any news with Rochina :-----? MatthewCA
  • Score: 1

10:58am Mon 7 Jul 14

Chuck Norris' Roundhouse says...

Expect a bid from Burnley for Cairney in the next couple of weeks.

£1 million so I've heard....
Expect a bid from Burnley for Cairney in the next couple of weeks. £1 million so I've heard.... Chuck Norris' Roundhouse
  • Score: -1

12:19pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Look Up Blackburn says...

Rhodes is really pushing for a move now by the sounds of it.

He's had his head turned by true promotion candidates Norwich who can offer him a season more befitting his abilities. An offer of £8m is being touted. Rumours abound of Premier League interest also.... this one appears to have legs.
Rhodes is really pushing for a move now by the sounds of it. He's had his head turned by true promotion candidates Norwich who can offer him a season more befitting his abilities. An offer of £8m is being touted. Rumours abound of Premier League interest also.... this one appears to have legs. Look Up Blackburn
  • Score: -1

3:29pm Mon 7 Jul 14

noddy57 says...

Rumors abound with Rhodes but absolutely no substance to them.Those dingles wish they could afford him but as usual he is out of their reach due to the miserly wage structure in place at tiny turf. COYB.
Rumors abound with Rhodes but absolutely no substance to them.Those dingles wish they could afford him but as usual he is out of their reach due to the miserly wage structure in place at tiny turf. COYB. noddy57
  • Score: -5

3:41pm Mon 7 Jul 14

noddy57 says...

Rumors abound with Rhodes but as usual no substance. Those dingles would love to be able to compete with Blackburn on the transfer front but as usual the tightfisted board will not break their miserly wage structure and thus condemn them to abject failure in their ill fated fling with the big time and like the old saying goes" pay peanuts" pay a heavy price. forget Oh""and don,t bother coming back with the old FFP **** because it wont wash cheapskates .
Rumors abound with Rhodes but as usual no substance. Those dingles would love to be able to compete with Blackburn on the transfer front but as usual the tightfisted board will not break their miserly wage structure and thus condemn them to abject failure in their ill fated fling with the big time and like the old saying goes" pay peanuts" pay a heavy price. forget Oh""and don,t bother coming back with the old FFP **** because it wont wash cheapskates . noddy57
  • Score: 3

3:43pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Chuck Norris' Roundhouse says...

noddy57 wrote:
Rumors abound with Rhodes but absolutely no substance to them.Those dingles wish they could afford him but as usual he is out of their reach due to the miserly wage structure in place at tiny turf. COYB.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha

Yeah because Blackburn's wage structure is working brilliantly for you isn't it?

ha ha ha ha ha ha
[quote][p][bold]noddy57[/bold] wrote: Rumors abound with Rhodes but absolutely no substance to them.Those dingles wish they could afford him but as usual he is out of their reach due to the miserly wage structure in place at tiny turf. COYB.[/p][/quote]Ha ha ha ha ha ha Yeah because Blackburn's wage structure is working brilliantly for you isn't it? ha ha ha ha ha ha Chuck Norris' Roundhouse
  • Score: 4

7:40pm Mon 7 Jul 14

roverrite says...

Cairney 23 yo , reid who they have just signed 33 , I rest my case.
Cairney 23 yo , reid who they have just signed 33 , I rest my case. roverrite
  • Score: 0

7:43pm Mon 7 Jul 14

roverrite says...

Look Up Blackburn wrote:
"Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes wants a pay rise at Blackburn Rovers after the Ewood Park outfit rejected an £8m bid from Norwich for the player."


Oh dear.... looks like Jordan might be on his way, you're already giving him £40,000 a week, looks like he wants out and is using this as his leverage...
Personally I have never rated him as a prem player but if he wants to go let him, Blackburn is bigger than any player.
We will move on just like when shearer left.
[quote][p][bold]Look Up Blackburn[/bold] wrote: "Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes wants a pay rise at Blackburn Rovers after the Ewood Park outfit rejected an £8m bid from Norwich for the player." Oh dear.... looks like Jordan might be on his way, you're already giving him £40,000 a week, looks like he wants out and is using this as his leverage...[/p][/quote]Personally I have never rated him as a prem player but if he wants to go let him, Blackburn is bigger than any player. We will move on just like when shearer left. roverrite
  • Score: 0

8:04pm Mon 7 Jul 14

roverrite says...

Look Up Blackburn wrote:
Rhodes is really pushing for a move now by the sounds of it.

He's had his head turned by true promotion candidates Norwich who can offer him a season more befitting his abilities. An offer of £8m is being touted. Rumours abound of Premier League interest also.... this one appears to have legs.
Trott on numpty.
[quote][p][bold]Look Up Blackburn[/bold] wrote: Rhodes is really pushing for a move now by the sounds of it. He's had his head turned by true promotion candidates Norwich who can offer him a season more befitting his abilities. An offer of £8m is being touted. Rumours abound of Premier League interest also.... this one appears to have legs.[/p][/quote]Trott on numpty. roverrite
  • Score: -1

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