DAN Butterworth is happy to focus on his football after agreeing his first professional deal with Rovers last month.

The teenage striker is set to lead the Under-18s’ charge in the FA Youth Cup as they face Wrexham at Ewood Park tomorrow (7pm).

Thirteen goals in 20 appearances for Billy Barr’s side at the start of last season saw the striker quickly become a firm fixture of Damien Johnson’s Under-23s squad but he will be back with the Under-18s for tomorrow’s game.

After 16 goals across both age groups in 2016/17, the former Manchester United youngster signed a deal at Rovers through to the summer of 2020 and is optimistic about the future.

“I spoke about that at the start of the season so getting it done early is good for myself to progress on and keep my head focussed on football rather than worrying about anything else,” he told the Lancashire Telegraph.

“It maybe played on my mind a little because you want to get things done so you can stop worrying about it.

“I’m happy it’s all done and happy to be at Blackburn.”

Butterworth spent many of his formative years at Manchester United, not arriving at Rovers until midway through the 2015/16 campaign. But he admits making the switch has helped bring out the best in him.

He added: “United are the biggest club in the world but coming to Blackburn has helped me even more.

“I have enjoyed it more because I maybe feel more appreciated here and they value me.

“Blackburn have been good for me.

“We have spoken about that (pathway), if I do well then I will get my chance so I just need to keep working hard and putting in the performances.”

Rovers beat Tranmere 1-0 in round one, courtesy of a Callum Dolan strike. They reached the fourth round of last year’s competition having entered at round three where Butterworth scored the winner against Arsenal before defeat on penalties to Aston Villa saw them knocked out.

Keen to do better this time around, he said: “The Youth Cup is the best cup in England so it’s been good to come down and prepare for the game.

“To come back down and play with the lads that I did last year, and being course mates with a few of them, it’s good.

“The lads always want to get good results, even on a Saturday morning in the league.

“I think we think about results more than the coaches but we just want to get the win and progress in the cup.

“We want to get the win, a goal would be a bonus, but if we can get the win that’s the main thing.”

A groin injury in pre-season was followed up by a broken toe in his first game back for the Under-23s at Southampton.

However, he has made three appearances for the Under-23s since, scoring in the 6-1 win over Watford before the international break.

He is one of the few players in Barr’s group to have already played at Ewood, but he’s urging his team-mates to enjoy the occasion, rather than be fazed by it.

“Nothing changes – it’s a big stadium but we can’t let the pressure get to us and we have to not overcomplicate things,” he said.

“We need to just keep it simple and things will plan out. I think a lot of us were a bit nervous last year, we didn’t play very well against Aston Villa, but this year I think we will be all right and put in a good performance.”

Butterworth will likely return to the Under-23s after the game ahead of their trip to Aston Villa on Monday.

With just one defeat to their name so far this season, and sitting second in the Premier League 2 Division Two table, Butterworth admits confidence is high around the group.

“They have played really well, won a lot of games and it’s been great to be a part of that,” he said.

“Hopefully we can get promoted in to the next league but we have to just keep focussed and keep doing what we’re doing.

“The lads are full of confidence and that needs to stay the same and hopefully we can get more wins under our belts.”

Butterworth is likely to be used more in a central striking position for the Under-23s moving forward after previously being used in a role behind Joe Nuttall. But with Nuttall having made the step-up to first-team level, Butterworth is keen to follow in his footsteps.

He said: “Joe has done really well since he came in, scored loads of goals and obviously deserved his chance for the first-team.

“Hopefully if I can do the same then I can get my chance.”