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Debut delight for 'keeper

Posted: Mon 09 Dec 2013
Author: rovers.co.uk

Simon Eastwood couldn't have been happier with the way his league debut went in a Blackburn Rovers shirt.

Eastwood was one of four changes made by manager Gary Bowyer on Saturday at Queens Park Rangers, with the 'keeper being one of the standout performers as Rovers picked up a useful point in a goalless draw.

"If someone had said before the game that I'd have kept a clean sheet I'd have snapped their hands off," said Eastwood.

"We came down to win the game but to come to a side at the top of the league and get a point you are going to take it.

"They're top and they're flying, they've got so many talented individual players, we are just pleased with the result."

Eastwood was given a quiet introduction to Championship football, having little to do in the first half. He was certainly busier in the second, pulling off an outstanding save to keep Queens Park Rangers at bay.

Andrew Johnson's cross from the right was dummied by Charlie Austin, presenting Matty Phillips with a golden opportunity to open the scoring, but from close-range Eastwood somehow managed to make the save, stopping the shot with his face.

"It was just a reaction save really," added the 24-year-old. "I hadn't had too much to do up until then, just a bit of kicking and a couple of crosses, but it was just nice to be there at the right time and to get something in the way of it.

"To keep a clean sheet you need the lads in front of you. It was brilliant working with the back four, they were really solid.

"At half time we were disappointed that we didn't score a couple of the chances we had, we came to win the game but at the end of the day the back four are happy with the point and the clean sheet, but we were a little bit unlucky in the first half. At the end of the day it is a good point."

Eastwood found out well ahead of the game that he'd be starting on Saturday, but the challenge for the stopper now is the keep hold of his starting place.

Eastwood added: "I got told earlier in the week I'd be playing, ever since then I've really been looking forward to it.

"Jake has been brilliant with me, we both travel in together in the morning and afternoon and he was the first one to congratulate me after the game which is brilliant.

"At the end of the day we have to both push each other and see who gets the shirt, I've got the shirt at the minute and I'm sure he'll do as much as I did to push him to push me.

"So it is good competition, we both thrive on it."

Rovers are back in action this Saturday when Millwall are the visitors to Ewood Park. Tickets are currently on open sale with prices from £15 Adults, £10 Seniors and £5 Juniors.

Secure your seat today by booking online at www.onerovers.co.uk