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Graham gunning for play-off glory

The striker wants a second promotion on his Rovers CV, at the club where he feels at 'home'

13 May 2020

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Danny Graham says it would be an ‘amazing feeling’ if he can help fire Rovers back to the Premier League.

Tony Mowbray’s men sit just three points outside the play-off positions, with nine games of the 2019-20 Championship season remaining.

Graham played a key role in helping Rovers bounce straight back to the Championship in 2017-18 and he would love to add another promotion to his CV.

“It would be unbelievable,” said the 34-year-old striker.

“When you think that when I first signed we got relegated to League One and it was all doom and gloom. It was tough times.

“But then the League One season was great, it seemed to get everyone back on side, the fans came in their numbers and we seemed to grow together, which was a pleasing thing.

“All the talk now is about the football side of things and getting behind the team, which has certainly helped the lads, and if the season does get back underway and we can get into the play-offs, then it’s a lottery and we would have a right chance of getting back into the Premier League.

“To do that at this football club, after getting relegated and then bouncing back straight away, to then get into the play-offs and go to the Premier League would be an amazing feeling and hopefully that can happen at some point.”

Graham joined Rovers on a permanent basis in June 2016, following a successful loan spell from Sunderland, where he admits he experienced some of the lowest moments in his career.

In three-and-a-half years at the Stadium of Light, Graham scored just one league goal in 22 starts, but spent much of his time there out on loan.

By contrast, the forward has found a ‘home’ at Rovers, where he has netted 51 league goals in 123 starts, and admits he has loved ‘every minute’ of his time at the club so far.

“The spell I had at Sunderland was really tough,” he added. “It probably drained a lot out of me and was probably some of the lowest points in my career, but not for want of trying.

“I was giving my all and it just didn’t seem to work out. The whole move never seemed to click or get into gear, so it was a tough time.

“Then I was out on loan a few times and I ended coming to Blackburn on loan in the late January and I think I scored seven goals in the last 18 games or so, and it felt really homely and it felt like the right place to be for me.

“Looking back, it was a great decision to sign here and apart from the relegation, which was tough, I can honestly say I’ve loved every single minute of it.”

And Graham says manager Tony Mowbray deserves much of the credit for making his time at the club so enjoyable, describing him as one of the best bosses he has worked with in his career.

“He’s up there,” Graham added.

“The majority of my time at Blackburn has been spent under Tony and we’ve had a good relationship on and off the pitch.

“He’s a Middlesbrough guy, obviously I live in the Middlesbrough area, he’s great to have around the place, he’s great for the boys and after the relegation we’ve only gone from strength to strength, and a lot of that is down to Tony and his team, and hopefully that can continue.

“We’re three points off the play-offs with hopefully nine games to go, so I think that speaks volumes of the job he’s done.”

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