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Ready for when my chance comes - Stokes

25 January 2017

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Anthony Stokes admits he is prepared to bide his time for his chance in the first team.

Stokes hasn’t started a game for Rovers since the EFL Cup tie against Crewe Alexandra in August, with Danny Graham and Sam Gallagher - who have scored 20 Championship goals between them - often the preferred pairing up front. 

In need of some match minutes, the 28-year-old put himself forward to play in Monday’s Premier League Cup tie with Burnley and the Irishman produced two fine near-post finishes in the impressive 4-0 win.

“I asked the gaffer last week if I could play in the (Premier League 2) game at Wolves,” said Stokes, who got 82 minutes under his belt in the match at Morecambe.

“I travelled down and didn't feel too well, so I missed that game, but I went to him and just said that I need some game time, so it was good to get a run-out and nice to get a couple of goals as well.

“I just felt like I needed the sharpness and the game time at the minute. I haven't played as much as I would have liked lately and I said that to the gaffer, so it’s just about me getting myself ready so if I do get an opportunity I can step in and do myself justice.

“I felt good. It was difficult conditions at times to try and play the sort of football we wanted, but I thought we battled hard in the first half and the second half we were well on top and dominated the game, so it was a great result in the end.”

The former Celtic forward, who has netted three senior goals since making his summer switch to Ewood Park, stressed the importance of staying in shape for when his opportunity arises and he hopes to have handed his manager a selection headache ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Blackpool. 

“Of course, that's what I want, but if I'm not playing on a Saturday, I just need to keep myself going,” he added.

“I just need to be patient, keep myself ready and if I need to play in these games, to keep my fitness up and keep my sharpness up, I really don’t mind. I'm just trying to look after myself and keep myself in the best shape possible.

“I think the boys up front have been doing well and it’s probably not been our biggest issue this season scoring goals, it’s probably been conceding them. When we've been conceding in games, it’s been at bad times, so for me I’ll just stay patient and when my chance comes be ready.”

Rovers are back in action this Saturday when they take on Blackpool at Ewood Park in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup.

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Matchday prices and for non-season ticket holders are £12 for adults, £6 for Seniors aged 65 and over, £6 for 18-21 year-olds and just £2 for Juniors aged 17 and under.

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