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David Dunn

Posted: Tue 24 Apr 2012
David Dunn

David Dunn

Image by: Action Images

Midfield star David Dunn is the latest player to answer your questions in our popular feature...

Being a Blackburn fan yourself, how much does it hurt seeing us in the position that we are in now? (Anne Swindlehurst, Blackburn)

It does, it hurts. Everything around it hurts me. There just seems to be unrest everywhere you look at the club, but unfortunately that sometimes happens when things aren't going well. I think there has probably been too many changes in a short space of time and I think any club that makes that many changes would be affected. That goes from here at the training ground to down at Ewood. But we've got to keep going, we desperately need a win against Norwich and if we win that, then who knows. It's disappointing to see where we are in the league, but who knows what's going to happen in the future.

Having come through the system yourself, how exciting is it to see the club's youth team doing so well and the number of young player progressing towards to the first team? (Gerry Phillips, Merseyside)

I think one positive we've got at this football club is that. I think our youth team and our Reserve players that have progressed into the first team has been fantastic this year … and last year. Whereas we've not done great at first team level, where it's been really competitive, we're obviously in the final of the Youth Cup and there are some very good young players at the club and hopefully they can all get their chance. I think as you've seen, if their good enough, they'll get a chance here.

Do you think as you get older, you will have to adapt your game and your role in the team to more or a deep-lying midfielder or do you still think you have most to offer playing 'in the hole'? (Anne Bessie, Yorkshire)

Good question! I thought about changing a while ago and then obviously there was a few games I've played in where I've felt more comfortable playing in the hole. There's no question about it, I can't run around like I used to be able to, but what I do have is experience. You kind of become a better player as you get older, but you get less legs. So it's something that I might have to start thinking about, but I just love playing football. All the other stuff that comes with it is great, but first and foremost, I still want to play for Blackburn Rovers and fingers crossed that can continue.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years time? (Anon)

Hopefully as a manager somewhere. I've no idea where or what paths I'm going to take in the next few years, but it's certainly something that interests me. I've played with the idea of getting involved with youth team coaching. I think that would be really rewarding, because I'd really like to work with younger players to help bring them on, but then I also feel that having played in the game for so many years at first team level, there' probably only one place to be and that's in and around the first team.

What do you like to do away from football for fun and to relax in your spare time? (Anon)

I think the biggest thing that you've got to realise is that football is my job and it is a game, but my children and my wife are the most important things. As much as you want to say that football means everything, my family mean everything to me and I try to spend as much time with them as I can. I'd love to be able to say I go on the golf course all the time and all these other hobbies, but the reality is, I don't get the chance. I try and get to quite a few games, whether it be Accy Stanley or Chorley or whoever, that's probably my only little thing that I get to do. The other thing is my charity obviously, in Blackburn, which we're trying to push. I find it really rewarding to give back to the community that have been so good not just with myself but with the whole club.

I see and hear a lot about your STREETS charity, how far has it come since you launched it and how far do you see it going in the future? (Mike Beanister)

I don't want to say too much, but we are just in the process of redoing a few things with Mr Consequence and the STREETS programme. We're quietly confident we can have a really positive impact on the local children, which is what it's based on. With the new things that are coming up at the moment, like Blackburn Youth Zone and the John Barry Trust, we've got a lot of passionate people in Blackburn that really want to make this community better, and me and John (Magee) are two of those people. I think John wants to change everyone, whereas I'm more realistic and I'm of the understanding that I don't think we can change everyone. Now that won't be through a lack of effort, but some people can't be helped, because they don't want to be. But if there are kids out there that want to be helped, then we're going to have a really good go at them. And if we can change a couple of people's input in society and in life, then I think it's job done. And I'm talking very small things, like opening doors for people and saying please and thank you, and having respect for older people - things that we've moved away from a little bit in the last few years - so if we can instil that in young people, then I think it's job done.

Hi David. I've been a Rovers fan, man and boy, and can only imagine what it's like to run out in front of the Ewood faithful every other week. That said, my question is this … did you come back to Rovers because you thought Birmingham was a bit rubbish or was it the lure of the Great Harwood Chippy? Don't pull any punches. Be honest. (Roger White, Manchester)

I was having a bad time at Birmingham with injuries. I felt that I just needed to get back to the North West. Blackburn were out of the picture until the 11th hour, so I never thought it was a chance I was going to get, but as soon as Mark Hughes got in touch, it was a no brainer. I jumped at the chance and I'm delighted with how things went. Since then, I've probably played on average between 25-30 games a year, apart from the year when I had two operations on my Achilles, so I think my injury record has been pretty good. The lure of the Great Harwood Chippy is always a bonus as well!

Have you started doing any coaching yet or has that taken a back seat given our league position? (Albert Smith, Rishton)

It has to be honest. While I still think I can play football, I want to concentrate on playing as much as I can. It's something that definitely interests me and it's something that I'm going to kick on with in the coming months.

Where do you stand on the goal-line technology debate? (Len Jowells, Church)

I'm a little bit old school, where I think that the rules should probably be kept as they have been for many years. I can certainly understand why people want to see it and if it helps the game move forward and we can take a bit of pressure off referees for those crucial decisions that mean so much nowadays, in terms of the club and resources and finances and fans going home happy or unhappy - football impacts so much on people's lives now, if it helps get the correct decision then fair play.

What's the best goal you've ever scored? (Brian Unskill, Samlesbury)

I don't know. Obviously the Burnley goals - and I'm not just saying it because it sounds good - did mean a lot. To keep that unbeaten record going against them was obviously very good. The goal against Holland for the Under-21s, I was really happy with that. There have been a few over the years that I've been pleased with. I'd probably say my best goal was in a pre-season game against Southport - from the goalkeeper's kick I struck it right back and scored … but I don't suppose that really counts.

As one of our longest-serving players, who are the best players you've played here with and why? (Phil Jackson, Blackburn)

I think I've been very fortunate over the years to have played with some really top players, but not just ability-wise. When you look at the likes of Flitty (Garry Flitcroft) and Shorty (Craig Short), their abilities were not just as footballers, but they had leadership qualities that I think are so important in football. When you go back to when I first broke in and I was playing with Tim Sherwood and Chris Sutton, they were really top players. And then my era, with Damien Duff and Matt Jansen. And then the most talented one in terms of making that ball talk, was Tugay. I think everyone that supports Blackburn, certainly for the last 10 years, I think they'd al say Tugay was not just an entertainer, but a character as well. He was bloody hard to play with sometimes, because you had to do his running! But when you've got players like that, then it's worth sacrificing your own game to let them get on with their job and we've seen so many times how cool he was and what such great ability he had.

With everything that's gone on at Rovers over the past 12 months, do you think staying up this season would be the greatest achievement of your career and if not, what has been? (Fred Anderson, Cherry Tree)

I think the Worthington Cup was a really good run and the promotion season was great. And my England cap. But I do think that after everything we've had to put up with this year, and it's been so frustrating for everyone involved with the club, it would be a great achievement to stay up. I'd be over the moon if we could just get those points in the bag. But Wigan have come to form and I was watching their game the other night when they beat Arsenal and whilst I was absolutely devastated, a little bit of me started to say fair play to them, because they deserved to win. It's no fluke going to those teams over the last month and getting all those results. And whichever three teams at the bottom of the league go down, in my opinion they deserve to go down, for whatever reason. But hopefully the big man upstairs can look down on us and keep us in the league, but it's certainly not going to happen if we play like we did at Swansea. We've got to have a real good go and our application, first and foremost, has got to be the most important thing. Every single one of our players has got to go out there and give it our all and if we don't do that, sometimes we're not as good a player as the teams we're playing against, so we've got to match that with our determination and willingness to grind results out and I think too many times this season we haven't done that, and that's how it is.