GARRY Flitcroft believes there would be no better way for David Dunn to round off his Blackburn Rovers career than by leading his hometown club back into the Premier League.
Dunn will definitely spend another year as a player at his beloved Rovers after putting pen to paper on a new one-year contract.
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And if it is to be one of the mercurial midfielder’s final seasons wearing the famous blue and white halved shirt then his former team-mate reckons it would be fitting for it to end in promotion from the Championship.
And Flitcroft, the last Rovers skipper to lead the club up into the top flight of English football 13 years ago, has no doubt that the 34-year-old can have a big say in trying to achieve that.
“Dunny’s an exceptional talent and if he can help get them up this season then it would be great for him to finish his career where it started, in the Premiership,” said Flitcroft, who played alongside Dunn in the Rovers midfield when the club finished second in the old First Division in 2000-01.
“It’s great news for Blackburn that Dunny has signed on for another year as if he’s fit he can still make things happen.
“We saw it last season. He played 25 games and in those games he did make things happen.
“He still offers you something different in that final third.”
Dunn has made 366 appearances for Rovers across two spells split by a stint at Birmingham City.
The former England international, who is entering his 14th season at Ewood Park, would have made more had it not been for injury.
But Flitcroft has told Dunn, who last season brought up 50 league goals Rovers, to keep playing for as long as possible.
“I finished through injury when I was 33 and I missed football a lot,” said the Chorley manager.
“David’s had his injuries too but they’ve got a good physio at Blackburn in Dave Fevre and a good medical team.
“They’ve got to manage him right and get him on the pitch as much as they can because he’s still got a lot to offer.”
Dunn and the rest of the Rovers squad returned home yesterday after a week-long warm weather training camp in Portugal.
They rounded off the trip with a 1-0 win over Portuguese outfit SC Freamunde in a behind-closed-doors clash on Saturday.
Jordan Rhodes got the only goal of the game from the penalty spot.
Rovers are next in action when they make the short journey to Accrington Stanley on Wednesday (7.45pm).
Rovers U21s, meanwhile, head to AFC Darwen tomorrow (7.45pm) on the back of a 5-4 victory at Knaresborough Town on Saturday.
Jordan Slew (2), Hyuga Tanner, Sam Lavelle and Jordan Preston shared the strikes.