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Tony: Joe has to seize his opportunity

Mowbray's challenged striker Nuttall to continue developing at Ewood Park

18 January 2018

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Rovers boss Tony Mowbray says Joe Nuttall is deserving of his new contract but also wants the 20-year-old to seize his opportunity with the club.

Nuttall's fresh three-and-a-half-year deal secures his long-term future at the club and the boss was delighted to tie down his young starlet.

"We've got it done and I think Joe's burst onto the scene to really show his quality," Tony told iFollow Rovers.

"His career in Scotland didn't quite work but he's found an environment now where he's flourishing.

"He still has a lot to learn but this is where he can develop, get better, get faster, get stronger and we're delighted he is staying with us.

"He wants to learn, is always asking questions and is now playing against big centre halves. He's still getting used to that after making the jump up to the first team and playing against men.

"He'll get game time and will have to learn off Danny Graham. I like Joe as he's always practicing his finishing and I'm looking forward to the next few years with him.

"Danny and Joe aren't the same player. He can take bits from Danny though, and it's about the balance. Joe bring speed, size, run in behind, good in the air.

"He has all the tools and just has to develop his game and have a hunger to do better every game. As he plays more he'll get better and better."

And reflecting on when he first caught a glimpse at Nuttall, Mowbray admits he was surprised to see just how much quality the young striker had.

"He came in and played for the Under-23s and scored a hat-trick. Damien [Johnson] called me in Austria when we were out there in pre-season and said we had a handy player in on trial. When I got back it was almost too good to be true.

"He could do it all and we gave him a one-year deal with the option of another. He deserves his new contract and hopefully he'll see it as reward for his progress but also a good opportunity to continue his development with us."

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