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Paul hoping to finally make Shrewsbury impact

Defender Downing spent time at Shrewsbury on loan back in 2011 but never played

12 January 2018

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Paul Downing CameraSport
Paul Downing

Seven years after signing on loan at Shrewsbury, Rovers defender Paul Downing is hoping to finally show them what an impact he can have - by getting three points off them on Saturday.

But despite not getting a single minute of game time during his spell on loan there from West Brom in 2011, Paul only has good things to say about the Shropshire-based outfit.

"I’ve been everywhere in my career, including Shrewsbury!" Paul said with a chuckle.

"I didn’t manage to play, I just covered the bench for a month. It’s a club local to me really. It’s a good club, they’ve done fantastically well this season, they’ve got some good players and they won’t want to come here and roll over.

"They’ll want to keep the gap between us, so it will be down to us to show them on the day that we can beat them.

"I think it’s good because when you look for the results on a Saturday, this time we can affect it. We can put a dent in their promotion bid and try to unsettle them.

"It’s a big game and we want to win the game and try to cut the deficit to them and Wigan, and try to close the gap on the top two."

And Downing is hoping that the fans can play a part at Ewood Park this Saturday.

Rovers have started to turn their home turf into something of a fortress and Paul sees no reason why that can't continue when Shrewsbury visit.

"We’ve had a couple of good wins (against Charlton and Rochdale) and I felt we were the better team against Scunthorpe, but the ball didn’t quite drop for us," the 26-year-old said honestly.

"Since I’ve been here, I feel like we’ve played well at Ewood, we’ve picked up some good wins and with the teams around us to play at home, it’s going to be important that we carry on the form at Ewood and make it difficult for teams to come and get anything.

"The fans can play a massive part. Since I’ve been here, the away following and the atmosphere the home supporters create give us that extra push.

"We’re fortunate that not many teams in the division have got the support we’ve got, so we’ve got to try and take advantage of that and use it to help us get the points required."

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