BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer thinks Tom Cairney can reach double figures this season after the midfielder got off the mark in Friday’s opening game of the season against Cardiff City.
Cairney cancelled out Kenwyne Jones’ goal for the visitors in the 1-1 draw at Ewood Park when he fired home from outside the box.
The 23-year-old netted six times in his first season for Rovers, and Bowyer thinks he can improve on that tally this term.
“He’s got a chance of getting double figures if he keeps on believing in himself like he should do, because he’s a fantastic footballer,” the Rovers boss said.
“I’ve not set him that target, but we've certainly spoke about contributing with more goals.
“So why not, why can’t he get double figures?”
Cairney joined Rovers on loan from Hull City 12 months ago, before making the deal permanent in January.
He opened his Ewood Park account last season with a ferocious free kick in a 5-2 home win against Barnsley.
“I scored the first home goal of the season last season, and I’ve done it again,” Cairney said.
“On a personal level it was a great moment for me and another good goal.”
Cairney is perhaps best known as a central midfielder but started Friday’s match from the right flank, often cutting inside to look for shooting opportunities. It was a position he often took up last season too, with Rovers boss Bowyer going with Jason Lowe and Corry Evans in the centre of midfield against Cardiff.
“I try to get into goalscoring positions and to create chances for other people,” he said.
“I got six last season so I’d love to try and beat that.
“I’ve just got to keep trying to put in the same performances, I’ll play anywhere and try and do my best for the team.
“I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully it’ll all come together.”