David Dunn feels that he still has a lot to offer, after penning a new one-year contract with the club.
The long-serving Rovers midfielder admits he had no hesitation about extending his Ewood stay and hopes to repay the faith shown in him by boss Gary Bowyer, who handed him the new deal.
“I’m obviously very pleased that it’s finally been done,” said Dunny, who is closing in on 350 appearances for the club, over two spells.
“It’s a club I feel very passionately about. The rapport I’ve had with the fans over the years has been a really good one, so I feel very privileged to be extending my illustrious career here for another year.
“I think I play my best football here and I feel I showed that towards the back end of last season. I think we got a group of players together who were really working as hard as they could for the club and were wearing the shirt with a bit of pride, which is what we want. I think Gary and all the staff are going to try their very best to instil those beliefs in the players next season.
“After what had happened last season, it was certainly very nice to know that you’re still wanted, so Gary was definitely a factor in me signing as well.
“I think it’s a good appointment by the club. The core group of players that we have here are probably Gary’s lads, who he’s brought through the youth team and then in the Reserves, so if anyone can give those younger players the confidence to go out there and perform to their best, it’s Gary.”
With the players set to return for pre-season this week, Dunny insists he is at the stage in his career where he needs to manage his body carefully, in order to make himself available for as many games as possible.
But the 33-year-old is approaching the new Championship campaign with the philosophy of ‘quality not quantity’, with promotion to the Premier League the ultimate prize.
“For the first time in a while I am actually excited about this season,” Dunny added.
“I feel much more confident now. We’ve got some stability and structure creeping back into the club. People seem to be making the right decisions, so hopefully with all that, we can have a good pre-season and we can hit the ground running from that first game at Derby.
“Without putting pressure on people, I think we’ve got to be up there challenging for promotion. I don’t think anything else would be acceptable for a club like ours. We need to be in the Premier League as a football club and I’m sure that’s what everyone will be setting out to do.
“For myself, I just need to carry on where I left off at the end of last season. I’m certainly under no illusion that I’m going to play in every game.
“But to be honest, at my age, when I’ve looked back and thought about things, it’s not so much the amount of games, for me personally now, I think it’s about how much you impact a game.
“If you play 40 games and make no impact, then what use is that? I’d rather play 20 games and have an impact in all of them. So the amount of games has never really bothered me, but I want to make an impact in every game that I play.”
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