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Delighted the deal has been done

1 January 2015

Jason Steele has spoken of his joy at turning his loan move at Rovers into a permanent deal.

Yesterday saw the goalkeeper leave fellow Championship side Middlesbrough, putting pen-to-paper on a three-and-a-half year deal with the Ewood Park club.

Steele joined Rovers initially on a season-long loan deal, but having impressed during a 15-match stint, boss Gary Bowyer acted quickly to make the move permanent.

"I'm absolutely chuffed," said Steele. "It has been a little while getting it sorted but thankfully it is done and dusted and we can move on.

"I've absolutely love it here, I can't thank the people here enough for making me feel welcome. The staff, the manager, and obviously all the fans as well.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed it and as soon as the manager spoke to me there was no decision to be made for me and thankfully it has gone through."

Steele knows that he has a fight on his hands for the goalkeeping spot in the starting XI, with Simon Eastwood impressing on his two outings this season.

But the 24-year-old is pleased to have that healthy competition, knowing it can lead to better performances for the team.

"Easty was brilliant against Middlesbrough back up the road, and then on Saturday in the first half he has made two or three great saves again," added Steele.

"Obviously it is healthy competition, right throughout the team you need two in every position and I think we've got that.

"At the same time we are good friends, I've known Easty since we were kids, we've known each other for a long time, and no matter what happens we'll still have a lot of respect and friendship."

Gary Bowyer was pleased to add the experienced Steele to his ranks.

Despite his age, the goalkeeper has 170 senior appearances to his name, and the manager knows he is only going to improve with time very much on his side.

"We have had to act quickly on this deal and we are delighted to get it done," said Bowyer.

"Jason is still relatively young in goalkeeping terms, but he has played a lot of first-team football and he is only going to get better.

"He is a great lad, who has fitted in extremely well with the group and he adds further competition to the goalkeeping department, which is what we're striving for in all areas."

Rovers now await FA clearance for Steele to be involved in Saturday's FA Cup match at Charlton Athletic.


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