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Development Squad

DJ pleased for the returning Rankin-Costello

“He has a terrific attitude and he has shown that throughout his injury which has been a long 11 months"

6 February 2019

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Damien Johnson reserved special praise for the returning Joe Rankin-Costello, who marked his first start in almost a year with the opening goal of the 7-1 home hammering of Leicester City earlier this week.

Rankin-Costello started the rout after just 20 minutes of play at Leyland, to get Rovers up and running in Premier League 2.

And speaking afterwards, Johnson felt the young forward deserved everything he earned from the game for his hard work during his time out injured.

“He had a bad injury, and when you miss 11 months of football, from his last full game with us, it’s a long time and it can take a young player a while," the Development Squad chief reflected.

“The harder they work with the physios and sports science team then the better chance they give themselves.

“Credit to Sam Kelly and Liam Mason because the condition he has come back in has given him the opportunity to hit the ground running. I’m really pleased with him.

“He was playing out of position. We don’t have a natural right back or wing back in the side now.

“Hayden Carter has been playing there, but he’s a centre half, and Joe likes to play inside and higher up the pitch.

“But he’s a talented player and we’ve missed him."

And whilst Johnson was delighted by Joe's all round performance, he's been more impressed with the winger's "terrific attitude" during his time out.

“He has a terrific attitude, which he has shown throughout his injury, which has been a long 11 months," Johnson added.

“He has applied himself to his rehab, the challenge for him was to come back better physically and he has done.

“Credit to him, he influenced the game and ended up in the last 10 minutes as centre forward.

“That’s the intelligence Joe has.”

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