Writer: Mikey Delap
Date:Wednesday May 5 2010
Rovers manager Big Sam Allardyce is determined to keep hold of teen startlet Phil Jones, saying that the best way to see the fruits of the academy labour is to see the player on the pitch, not as a figure on a bank balance.
Jones signed a new five year deal recently and is now a firm Rovers favourite despite only breaking into the first team in March, such was his immediate impact.
Allardyce has long bared a bug about the lack of results from the Rovers Youth Academy - for years there has been "the next big thing" coming from Brockhall, only to see them fade out to the lower leagues.
Big Sam speaking to Sky Sports said - 'We are determined to hold on to Phil, Blackburn have ploughed a huge amount of money into the academy for no reward recently.
'When you have spent so much time and effort developing a player you want to see the club benefit as much as possible by him playing on the field, not by the finance you are going to get.
'But Phil is a local lad and to see him come through like he has is absolutely magnificent.'
Allardyce clearly feels that Jones has the skills that can see him succeed in the EPL and despite only a handful of games see some real potential in him.
Allardyce continued - 'Centre-half is a high-risk position, the only place with more responsibility is goalkeeper because your mistakes get punished.
'As a manager, I had to decide whether to take that gamble but Phil had already minimised the risk with his performances in matches which were not high priority.
'In this little run, he has taken everything in his stride, whether it was Drogba or Berbatov.
'He has such a calm, collected, cool attitude, which is remarkable for someone so young.
'At this early stage it is difficult to say how good Phil will be but the prospects are very promising indeed.'
Here here. Bottle of champagne? Anyone?
Date:Wednesday May 5 2010
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