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Vital to be ready when called upon

It was a solid debut from Daniel Ayala after making his Rovers bow against Cardiff City

5 October 2020

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Having slipped straight into the heart of the Rovers backline, you'd have never known that the weekend's match was Daniel Ayala's first outing in 10 months.

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The Spanish centre back, Rovers second signing of the summer, replaced the injured Darragh Lenihan to partner Derrick Williams in the backline against Cardiff City.
 
The 29-year-old slotted seamlessly into the side to help Rovers to a third successive clean sheet and help the team pick up a point against the stubborn Bluebirds at Ewood Park.
 
Ayala appeared for an hour earlier in the week for the Development Squad against Leicester City's Under-23s and was thrown in at the deep end to feature for the full game against Cardiff on Saturday.
 
“It was great to get my first 90 minutes after so long without playing," he reflected to iFollow Rovers after the encounter at a drizzly Ewood.
 
“It’s always good to get back out there and to get the clean sheet is always brilliant for a defender.
 
“I spoke to the manager and told him that I probably needed three or four weeks to get going.
 
“But with an injury occuring to Darragh, I had to be called upon and I’m glad I was. To keep a clean sheet is great for us.
 
“As a player you have to be ready to play and to take your chance, even if it did come earlier than I thought it would," he admitted.
 
“After so long out, I think I need maybe four, five, six games to get to the level I want to be at, but we’ll get there slowly.
 
“The only way that the match fitness arrives is by playing game after game, so I’m glad the first of those games arrived this weekend."

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