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Fulham boosted by Ryan's return

30 January 2015

Manager Gary Bowyer insists Saturday’s opponents Fulham are a different proposition to the side Rovers faced earlier in the season.

Rovers claimed a 1-0 victory at Craven Cottage back in September – just days after the London club had parted company with former manager Felix Magath.

After a sluggish start, Fulham’s season has gone from strength to strength under new boss Kit Symons and Bowyer believes they have been boosted further by the return of former Rovers loan star Ryan Tunnicliffe.

The ex-Manchester United man spent the first half of the season at Ewood Park, before being recalled by his parent club, and the Rovers boss believes he has a big future ahead of him. 

“They’ve turned it round under Kit,” said Bowyer. “They’ve made progress since the last time we played them, that’s for sure.

“They’ve got two very good strikers, in (Ross) McCormack and (Hugo) Rodallega, and obviously the return of Ryan Tunnicliffe, who was terrific when he was here, with how he conducted himself both on and off the pitch. 

“You saw him grow up in the time when he was here, so we’re aware of him and obviously he’ll provide information to them in terms of our strengths and weaknesses.

“When he left, he thanks us personally and said that he’d got his love back for the game. He’s a terrific lad and he doesn’t get enough credit for how good he is, both on and off the pitch. He epitomises what we’re trying to do here, in terms of his work rate and his energy. He’s a good footballer and he’s going to have a good career. I’m sure we’ll see him back in the Premier League one day.

“I would love to have been able to sign him permanently in January, because he ticked all the right boxes for us, so it’s disappointing that we couldn’t do that, but we knew the constraints placed upon us.”

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