Returning Rover can make an impact
DAVID Goodwillie’s Blackburn Rovers’ nightmare shows no short term sign of coming to an end – but caretaker boss Eric Black insists he can still be a hit at Ewood Park.
The Scottish international made a surprise Rovers return earlier this week, after cutting short a loan spell at Championship rivals Crystal Palace, but is now left facing more than two months in the wilderness due to the terms of his Eagles switch.
The 23-year-old will be forced to watch Rovers’ trip to Derby County tomorrow from the sidelines, as well the next 14 Championship games after that, after it was stipulated he could play for no other club during his four month temporary stay at Palace.
Black though insists no one is to blame for Goodwillie’s latest set back, with him left on the fringes of things at Selhurst Park, and believes it was best for everyone for him to return to East Lancashire.
He said: “He went to Crystal Palace and felt that was his opportunity to play. For whatever reasons that has not happened and it can be a lonely place London. He is away from his family and is still a young boy so I don’t think anyone should point any fingers.
“I don’t blame him, I don’t blame the manager at Crystal Palace. It is just one of those things that it hasn’t worked out for him and it was best to come back.
“This is not an unusual occurrence, it can happen. He is unsettled and he and us have decided in the best interests we bring him back and Crystal Palace have agreed and we are comfortable with that.”
Goodwillie has struggled to make any sort of impression in English football after sealing a switch to Rovers from Dundee United for in the region of £2million in August 2011.
He arrived a fully fledged Scottish international and with a good scoring record in Scotland behind him but has been left kicking his heels almost ever since arriving in England.
“It has not started for him,” said Black. “Having worked with him last year, he never complained once. He did everything he possibly could to have a case of saying he could have had an opportunity. That is always an opinion thing.
“He never complained. He wanted to play football, that is all he wanted to do and it is a fabulous character for a player to have.
“Without a doubt he can still be a hit here and in English football. He scored three goals in three games when we were in the Premier League last season.
“He can contribute and I would have loved to have him available, but we don’t. What we have to focus on now is re-intergrating him into training and trying to get a few friendlies for him so come January he is not too far removed from what is required.”
Meanwhile Derby County boss Nigel Clough expects Rovers to be challenging for an instant Premier League return come the end of the season – despite a recent four-match winless streak taking them to outside the play off positions.
“More than anything now, they need to settle on and off the pitch,” said Clough.
“They have had not a bad start to the Championship among all the furore that has gone off.
“I think they are unbeaten away from home so far, so it has been a reasonable start. They will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.”