It may have taken two stoppage-time goals, but Blackburn Rovers got their first win of the season on Tuesday night, thanks to a 3-2 win over Oldham in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
Having trailed twice throughout the course of the match, it was the introduction of Bradley Dack early in the second half that appeared to eventually turn the game in Blackburn’s favour.
Top scorer in each of his two seasons at the club, Dack has struggled to get up and running so far this season, but did look more like his old self at Ewood Park during the week.
Having Dack on top form will undoubtedly be a big boost for Blackburn this season, as they look to improve on their 15th place finish in their first season back in the Championship last year.
So is Dack back to his best after coming to his side’s rescue in midweek?
Here, we put the spotlight on his performance against Oldham to find out.
Despite only playing for 35 minutes, Dack clearly had a huge impact during his time on the pitch on Tuesday night.
As well as scoring the goal that first got Blackburn back into the game, where he showed the clinical finishing inside the area that he has become well known for during his time at Ewood Park, he also provided the assist for Joe Rothwell to tap home the match-winner in the 95th minute of the match.
With that assist, Dack showed the presence of mind needed in a split second to find a teammate in a much better position than he was to put the ball in the back of the net, showing that the attacking midfielder’s own match-winning instinct goes much further than simply scoring the goals himself.
Delving further into the stats, and things only seem to become more encouraging for Rovers with regards to their talisman.
Prior to his appearance against Oldham, Dack had only registered one shot on target in the two full Championship games he has played this season, so the fact that he was on target twice in just 35 minutes against Oldham, indicates that the man who is arguably Rovers’ main goalscoring threat appears to be finding his range again.
Further to that, the six touches inside the opposition penalty area that Dack had in those 35 minutes against Oldham, is as many as Dack had made in the two full Championship games previously completed by the 25-year-old, highlighting that he is growing in confidence when it comes to getting in those goalscoring positions.
As has already been touched on with his assist, it also seems as though Dack’s link-up play is improving, with that 94% pass success rate also coming in as his best of the campaign.
Admittedly some will argue that Dack should be expected to put in a performance such as this when coming up against a League Two side such as Oldham Athletic, particularly given the Latics themselves are in far from the best of form right now.
While that may be the case, however, the old saying of only being able to beat what’s put in front of you does seem to apply here, and the fact that Dack was able to make that sort of impact is only going to help build his confidence that he can put in more performances as influential as this over the course of the season.
Given what Dack has shown during his two seasons at Ewood Park so far, that is something that can only be a good thing for Blackburn Rovers.