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Development Squad

A good day at the office, says Damien

The Development Squad chief reflects on the Lancashire Senior Cup win against Blackpool earlier today

24 October 2018

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Damien Johnson was a happy man after seeing his side produce an emphatic 6-0 victory to ease past Blackpool and move into the semi-finals of the Lancashire Senior Cup.

The goals were shared around at Brockhall Village against the Tangerines, with Joe Grayson, John Buckley, Jack Vale, Okera Simmonds and Jack Evans all finding the net for the hosts against a strong Blackpool team.
It was an excellent response following Friday night's later defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion, and Johnson was delighted by his team's showing against a Pool side who included ex-Rovers pair John O'Sullivan and Chris Taylor in their starting XI.
“We’re pleased with the performance and the result after a challenging period for the group with recent results," Johnson reflected after the game.
“I said to the lads that the challenge for us going forward has been getting goals. We’ve not scored enough one touch finishes this season, mainly down to losing personnel who score them.
“Hopefully that gives the lads confidence going forward to score more goals and get wins on the board.
“I hope it can kickstart our campaign. It’s been tough, but we’ve seen some encouraging signs recently."
First team pair Jacob Davenport and Paul Downing joined up with the Development Squad for the game, with the former getting almost 80 minutes under his belt as he steps up his return from injury.
Downing wasn't involved in the travelling party at Swansea last night and was given the chance of football by appearing for the whole game.
And Johnson was impressed with the attitude from the duo.
“Jacob’s worked hard to come back and he’s had an unfortunate time with injuries since he joined the club," Damien added.
“He played against Brighton on Friday night and got 80 today, so he’s stepping things up gradually.
“We were conscious that he wanted to get to 75 minutes but then a challenge came in and we had to err on the side of caution with him. He’s happy with his display.
“Paul Downing is another one, coming in today he showed what a good pro and player he is. 
"We’re very fortunate that the players who join up with us from the first team, their attitude is absolutely first class, and that’s all credit to the gaffer for getting in those sort of personalities."

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