Billy Barr was delighted to sign off 2020 in style with an emphatic win over Derby County's Under-23s at the Loughborough University Stadium.
Goals from Brad Lyons, Harry Chapman (2), Joe Nolan and Tyrhys Dolan earned an emphatic 5-3 win for Rovers against a Rams side who ended the game with 10 men following Louie Sibley's sending off.
The result sees Barr's boys rise to second in Premier League 2 Division 1, with the Development Squad earning victory in six of their 11 league games in the first half of the campaign.
“I thought it was a really good game," a beaming Barr reflected.
“The pivotal moment was the sending off, but we started very well against a Derby side who were very athletic and very quick.
“If you get in the box then you always have a chance of scoring, that’s what we’ve tried to focus Brad on.
“It was a great run from deep from him, a great touch from Dan (Butterworth) and a really good finish from Brad.
“Even tonight, when we were 3-2 down with them down to 10 men, it was the best kick-off that I’ve ever seen!
“To be back in the game in four or five seconds and then go on from there, it’s really good.
“We’ve had it quite a few times where teams have a player sent off against us, but we’ve ended up managing those situations really well."
It was a good night at the office for the Under-23s, and the added bonus came with Bradley Dack featuring in the first half against the Rams.
The talisman came through his first competitive 45 minutes in a year unscathed, and Barr was full of praise for the midfielder's performance and his impact around the youngsters.
“We’re all really happy to see him back on the pitch and really happy to see him with a smile on his face at half time," Barr added when reviewing the 26-year-old's display.
“It was a really productive first half from him, we didn’t want to ruin it by gambling on another five minutes.
“He’s ready to go again, that’s the big thing.
“He’s worked hard, he’s had setbacks along the way, but he loves football and seems in a really good place at the moment.
“He’s had the thing he loves taken away from him for a year, and the whole first team squad are happy to have him around it again.
“We’re definitely happy to have him with us and around the younger players, who can watch, listen and learn off him.
“He’s a massive part of Blackburn Rovers Football Club.”