, Blackburn Rovers must ‘look after’ influential forward says Eustace after midweek withdrawal

Blackburn Rovers must ‘look after’ influential forward says Eustace after midweek withdrawal

Blackburn Rovers boss John Eustace has stressed Sam Gallagher’s half-time substitution against Newcastle United was a precautionary measure.

Blackburn Rovers played out an entertaining FA Cup with Premier League side Newcastle United on Tuesday night. Eustace’s side would have been good value for a victory too, putting in a fantastic performance against tough opposition.

However, after a closely-fought game, the Magpies ultimately won on penalties. Martin Dubravka saved from Dom Hyam to wrap up the win.

There were a string of standout displays from Rovers and one who caught the eye in the first-half was striker Gallagher. As always, his endeavour and determination was on show, defending from the front and linking up with his fellow attackers while his aerial ability also helped out defending set-pieces.

However, given his injury record, there were concerns when he didn’t emerge for the second period. Gallagher looked to have pulled up a bit late in the half, but Blackburn Rovers boss Eustace has now offered reassurance over his withdrawal.

As quoted by the Lancashire Telegraph, Eustace said the striker was just struggling with a bit of tightness after a hit to his calf. He stressed that they must ‘look after’ the striker though given the busy schedule.

“He was a bit tight but I don’t think it is anything to worry about,” the Rovers boss said.

“He took a kick on his calf, it was precautionary. We have to look after Sam.

“It was our sixth game in 18 days so we have to use the squad if we’re going to be successful in anything we do this season.”

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A key role to play

Gallagher looks set to have an important role to play under Eustace for a number of reasons. For starters, the work-rate and physical presence he offers at the top of the pitch will be key to how the Blackburn Rovers boss sets up, and no other strikers at Ewood Park can match that.

He’s played a slightly different role of late too, moving out wide or into a deeper area on occasions to open up space for talisman Sammie Szmodics to run into the channels. That looks to be a clear path to success for Rovers.

The limited options at striker mean that maintaining Gallagher’s fitness will be important, and with his injury record in mind, it’s wise to lean on the side of caution when knocks and niggles emerge.

Hopefully Gallagher can return for the Championship clash with Swansea City this weekend. He’ll be keen to add to his tally of five goals and five assists as Blackburn Rovers look to move up from 16th in the Championship table.

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