When Ben Brereton looked at Blackburn Rovers’ fixture list after joining the club in August and spotted a return to former club Nottingham Forest on the 13th April, he probably won’t have expected the season to go the way it has. He certainly won’t have planned it to.
Since being unveiled to the Ewood Park crowd at the half time of the Carabao Cup win over Lincoln at the end of August, Brereton has started just three Championship games for his new club, and has yet to find the net for the Lancashire side.
At just 19-years-old and with a reported £7million price tag, Brereton was always going to come under scrutiny following his move, and you feel that can’t have helped the youngster.
Despite his struggle for minutes – which hasn’t been helped by the impressive performances of the evergreen Danny Graham in Rovers’ lone striker role – Brereton has had numerous chances to open his account for the club, even being denied by the offside flag twice earlier in the season.
Had the flag stayed down on those occasions, you wonder whether Brereton would have had the confidence to put some of those later chances away, and maybe that would surely have seen an increase in game time for the 19-year-old as well.
That chance of game time is something that could become even more difficult following Tuesday’s impressive win over play-off chasing Derby that have led some to suggest that Rovers manager Tony Mowbray could name an unchanged side for just the second time this season.
All that means is that Brereton will head to the City Ground tomorrow fully expecting to get more than a few reminders about his performances this season from those who used to cheer him on, how he would love to silence them tomorrow, if he can get on the pitch that is.