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Darragh hoping to continue his scoring streak

Two goals already this season makes the defender our top goalscorer in pre-season

26 July 2018

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A couple of goals in pre-season so far and two headed finishes in his last three Ewood Park outings certainly suggests Darragh Lenihan has gone from not just a goal stopper at one end, but also to a goal getter at the other.

It was a long wait for Darragh to notch his first Rovers goal; powerfully smashing home a header against Oxford United at Ewood at the end of last season, and like London buses, the defender didn't have to hang on much longer for his next one - a similar bullet header against Port Vale in our second pre-season friendly of the summer.

Two soon became three for the Republic of Ireland international as he looped a header over Netherlands goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg to put Rovers 1-0 up against Everton on Thursday night just 10 minutes in.

Some may say it's a fluke from Lenihan, but the 24-year-old admits working hard on the scoring aspect of his game is beginning to reap the rewards.

“I don’t know what’s got in to me but I will be aiming to get a few in the season now," he said to iFollow Rovers after the eventual 3-0 victory over the Toffees, with goals from Dominic Samuel and Bradley Dack sealing an emphatic win.

“I just tried to head it back across goal to be honest. I think I closed my eyes and wished! For a moment I thought it was going over the bar but it just crept in and as a defender you take any goal! I’m happy with it.

"The goalscoring is something I will be working on even more but my main job is of course to stop goals going in our net. If I can add goals then all well and good.

“From set plays, you see top defenders in the world like Sergio Ramos get 10 goals a season, so it always helps no matter where the goals come from. I’ll keep working hard and look to improve my stats but clean sheets remain my priority."

The victory against a strong Premier League side was hugely impressive, with Lenihan part of a back four which defended superbly in front of David Raya, restricting Everton to half-chances for the majority of the game.

And Darragh added it was the perfect tonic to see out the Ewood pre-season with our next game at home being against Millwall on Saturday 11th August, after an opening day trip to Portman Road.

"It was great preparation to move into the season with and to finish it off at home with a high press, high intensity performance, it’s been a very pleasing night," he reflected.

“I think since I’ve been here it’s been the best pre-season fixture list and means we don’t go into the season with false hope. We know we’ve been tested by the best in the last two games.

“Liverpool and Everton, you’re playing top Premier League opposition and they have been great tests and we did very well tonight."

Don't forget, Rovers are back in action away at Accrington Stanley on Saturday as we sign off our pre-season preparations. You can be there to back the lads by clicking here and purchase your ticket for the game against the League One newboys.

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