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“This boy will play in the Premier League"

Tony Mowbray believes John Buckley can go right to the very top after another impressive performance against Swansea City

10 March 2021

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Tony Mowbray believes the future is bright for John Buckley and Rovers after a shining performance from the young midfielder against Swansea City.

The talented 21-year-old started for only the third time in the league this season against the Swans and completed a first full 90 minutes of the campaign.

It was another impressive showing from the central midfielder, who was given the nod to feature again following an eye-catching display at Millwall at the weekend.

And Mowbray's seen enough from the youngster to suggest he's set for a long and successful career in the top tier of English football.

“I think the future’s bright for John," Mowbray began when reflecting on his performance to iFollow Rovers.

“I keep telling him to not get upset when he’s not playing because his career is coming and the future is coming for him.

“He’s training every day with good players and we know that he’s a very, very talented boy. That’s why he’s got a new contract.

“The future is bright for John Buckley and this football club because he’s such a talented boy.

“This boy will play in the Premier League in my opinion.

“I hope he helps us get there at some point in the future, but, if not, the phone will be ringing about John Buckley.

“It won’t be now or next year, but when he’s a regular in the team and playing 40 games in a season, he’ll be dancing around, scoring goals, making goals.

“He’s a highly talented individual and he’s still a young guy who’s working himself into a man’s game."

The boss' squad is littered with options in the centre of the pitch, but Buckley's got a run of games under his belt now having started the last two for Rovers.

He's shown bite and aggression in the three-man selection alongside Tom Trybull and Bradley Dack, which is something the attack-minded schemer isn't known for.

“I tell him how he won’t play if he doesn’t put his foot in," the boss added.

“He can put his foot in because he knows that’s what he has to do.

“But it’s his technical side, his upper body movement, the way he can shimmy past an opponent with those snake hips, that’s what makes him such a talented guy.

“He’s a very humble guy and we’re all looking forward to giving John game time.

“But, like I have said in the past, it’s not about giving John game time, it’s about the team winning.

“If we think [Lewis] Travis, [Corry] Evans, [Lewis] Holtby or Trybull are more pertinent for a certain game then they will play and John will have to sit on the bench. That’s how football is.

“At this moment, he’s in the team and he’s doing pretty well for us.”

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