Blackburn Rovers survived a big scare in the opening round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night, with Tony Mowbray’s side needing two stoppage-time goals to overcome League Two Oldham Athletic 3-2 at Ewood Park.
Following on from their 2-0 Championship defeat to Fulham at the weekend, Mowbray named a completely different starting XI to the one that played at Craven Cottage, which allowed deadline day loan signing from Cardiff, Greg Cunningham, to make his debut for the club, and it is one he is unlikely to forget anytime soon.
After Gevaro Nepomuceno’s early strike gave the visitors a half time lead, second-half substitute Bradley Dack levelled for Rovers with little more than 20 minutes to go, only for captain Mohamed Maouche to restore Oldham’s lead just a few moments later.
In the end, however, Rovers were not to be denied, with Stewart Downing’s strike from 35 yards, and Joe Rothwell’s tap in from two, inside the six minutes of second-half stoppage time, earning Blackburn a first win of the season.
Taking to Twitter after the match, Cunningham spoke of his delight at making his debut for the club, while also praising the character shown by his new side to recover twice from a losing position to take the win.
As well as that, the left-back also paid tribute to the vocal support of his new fans, while looking ahead to the club’s return to league action on Saturday, when they host Middlesbrough at Ewood Park.
Delighted to make my @Rovers debut last night!! We made it difficult for ourselves but dug deep and showed great character to get the job done. Thanks to the fans for your vocal support!! See you Saturday. #Rovers ???????????? pic.twitter.com/T2RniG7M6v
— Greg Cunningham (@Cunningham_17) August 14, 2019
For all the concerns about a lack of defensive options at Blackburn right now, this is certainly a positive in that area of the pitch for Tony Mowbray’s side.
It was an impressive debut that Cunningham enjoyed against Oldham on Tuesday night, with the left-back showing his abilities both coping with the Latics’ attacking threat, and going forward himself.
You feel therefore, that Cunningham could have a big role to play for Rovers over the course of this season, particularly if they are to pick themselves up from what has been a disappointing start to their Championship campaign.
It is also worth noting that Cunningham has been particularly admirable off the pitch as well, with the defender saying all the right sort of things that are likely to get the Rovers crowd on his side during his time at the club, something which can only be a good thing in terms of lifting the mood around Ewood Park following those early-season frustrations.