June 13, 2024

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Jon Dahl Tomasson delivers Blackburn Rovers verdict on Zak Gilsenan and Niall Ennis

Blackburn Rovers beat Walsall 4-3 in the first round of the Carabao Cup with three of their goals coming from academy graduates

Jon Dahl Tomasson has praised Zak Gilsenan’s performance against Walsall and challenged the Blackburn Rovers youngster to prove he’s ready for more first-team chances.

Rovers named five debutants in their team for the Carabao Cup first round. Four of them were academy graduates and three netted in the 4-3 victory over the Saddlers.

Zak Gilsenan and Niall Ennis were on the scoresheet for Blackburn Rovers.

One of those was Gilsenan, who has taken advantage of the lack of attacking reinforcements during pre-season. He scored Rovers’ opening goal and set up John Buckley’s decisive fourth goal.

Tomasson was impressed with the youngster but demanded even more if Gilsenan wants to be a regular fixture in the first-team squad

“He scored an important goal, of course,” Tomasson told RoversTV. “He is a young boy who wants to become better.

“It is a big step forward for him to play this level. He had cramp in both calves after 60 minutes and maybe I left him on a little too long but you have to be hard and robust to manage that pain.

“You have to do the right things more often on a daily basis. He did the right things and he knows when he is lacking in some situations but he is learning.

“When you’re young, you should be learning every day and he is in a good situation to improve in these situations. For him, it was a good night.”

Niall Ennis was handed a first Rovers start after his summer switch from Plymouth Argyle. He netted Rovers’ second goal, a lovely sweeping move which he finished off with a close-range finish.

Ennis is playing catch-up with his fitness after a niggling groin injury. Tomasson was pleased with his performance but warned it is still pre-season for the striker.

Blackburn Rovers secure Niall Ennis as first summer signing from Plymouth  Argyle - The Home of Irish Football - Extratime.com

“Niall played a really good game and our play was good. He scored a good goal as well,” he said.

“I think he did well, he is coming from behind, he had a lot of issues coming into the building. It’s pre-season for Niall and it will be for a while. Hopefully he comes through the game without any problems, I’ll know tomorrow.

“It was a great attack, great connection in the final third. He could’ve scored another goal in the first half, from the short corner. I am pleased for Niall.”

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