As the January transfer window draws to a close, Danny Graham reflects on his first 12 months with the club.
The star striker joined on loan from Sunderland on January 20th 2016 and went on to score seven times in 18 appearances during the second half of last season.
The 31-year-old made the move permanent in the summer and is top of Rovers’ scoring charts this season, having netted 11 league goals in 22 Championship appearances.
“On the back of a difficult couple of years at Sunderland, it’s been an enjoyable year for myself, but I think everyone knows that I’m not about me, I’m about the team and I would much rather we be mid-table or higher,” said Graham.
“On a personal note, it’s been very good, but hopefully we can have a better second half to the season.”
After a successful 12 months on the pitch, there was cause for further celebration off the pitch, as Graham became a dad to twin boys on the eve of the Huddersfield Town match on New Year’s Eve, in which he headed home the opener in a dramatic 1-1 draw.
The striker insists his life has changed considerably since then.
“Just a little bit!” he joked. “Having the twin boys the day before Huddersfield, I’ve got three kids now, which is hard work to say the least, but I’m enjoying it and I’m enjoying my time here.
“Everything is going well and hopefully we can get the results to match.”
So, what is deadline day like for a footballer?
“It can be madness,” he added. “I’ve been involved in one myself. It was last minute when I went to Sunderland, so I guarantee a lot of players will have their phones by their sides throughout the day and trying to get moves, but for us as a squad, hopefully we can get one or two fresh faces in, improve the squad and move on up the table.
“I know we’ve got (Lucas) Joao in from Sheffield Wednesday and Marv’s come back, which is two great additions and hopefully there’s more through the door.”
Graham was delighted to see Marvin Emnes return to Rovers for a second loan spell from Swansea, as he believes the Dutchman plays an important role in the team.
“I think you can see he’s got that bit of individuality which we lack at times and he can do something out of nothing,” he added.
“He had a great start, with his goals, and then they didn’t seem to come the last few games, but when he was playing he was still creating chances and doing well for the team, so I’m delighted to have him back.”
With Emnes, Sam Gallagher, Lucas Joao and Anthony Stokes all in Rovers’ ranks, Graham insists that competition for places is fierce and he will have to remain at the top of his game in order to stay in the side.
“It’s great that we’ve got five strikers now at the club, so me and Sam are going to have to be on our toes,” he added.
“We’re going to have to work hard every day in training and keep scoring the goals, otherwise we’ll be out.”