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Development Squad

Damien: Mols return the highlight in a real team performance

Development Squad chief thrilled to move a step closer to the title with comfortable win over Newcastle

10 April 2018

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Development Squad supremo Damien Johnson admitted his side took a while to get going, but ultimately deserved their victory against Newcastle United U23s on Monday evening.

Second half strikes from Spaniard Stefan Mols and striker Joe Nuttall moved Rovers to within a point of the Premier League title after the team ran out 2-0 winners against the Magpies in Leyland.
And after shaking off the early game nerves, Johnson was pleased with what he saw from his troops against the Toon.
“I thought given where we are at there was a little bit of nervousness in our play," the Northern Irishman reflected. "The intensity was there but I thought we were lacking a little bit of composure and quality at times. We saw it through and got the job done in the end.
“At times, especially early on, they sat back and it was about us being patient and clever. The first goal is always important, against a good side which is better than what their league form suggests.
“We got there in the end and I thought we deserved it. The lads take pride in their organisation and the gaffer is always talking about being good defensively. The lads have really improved that over the season."
The returning Mols, who has missed the last five months of action due to a broken leg, made his comeback and opened the scoring with a classy header at the Lancashire FA HQ.
And Johnson reserved special praise for the Spanish midfielder, saying: “Stefan is a great kid and had a fantastic start to the season. We were devastated when he picked up his injury because he was probably our best player in the season up until that point.
“His professionalism and how he has looked after himself throughout his rehab, he’s trained for the last two weeks and made our minds up to start him. He didn’t disappoint or let us down tonight.
“It’s testament to the hard work he’s done throughout his rehabilitation. He’s joined in at a good level and Stefan has been so dedicated to his program and his plan. He’s certainly hit the ground running."

Rovers are next in action against Aston Villa in the Premier League 2 on Monday 16th April at Ewood Park, kick-off 7pm. Johnson's side need only a point to win the title.

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