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Things looking up at Blackburn for defender Duffy

IRELAND international Shane Duffy hopes he can build on a good start to his new career with Blackburn Rovers and get the side back into the Premier League.

Duffy moved to Ewood Park from Everton earlier this month but had to wait until last weekend for his full debut. And the Derry native, capped once at senior level, made an impression as he won the man of the match award as Blackburn won 1-0 away to Fulham.

It's been a good few days for the 22-year-old as yesterday he was named in the provisional 37-strong Ireland squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Germany next month, and while Duffy was not included in the final squad for the Oman/Georgia double header after being named in the provisional squad, the fact that he's in the original panel is a boost for the player.

And he's eager for success at Blackburn. "It's been brilliant so far, just what I expected," says Duffy.

"I can see why people are thinking we can go far this year and the gaffer keeps saying something special is coming.

"We've got a young side and if we can gel I don't think there'll be too many teams who can beat us.

"The Championship is a crazy league, and this year it's one of the toughest it's been, but if you can get on a run you never know where you can go," added Duffy.

Meanwhile, Ireland U21 cap John O'Sullivan hopes that Blackburn take note of his form on loan to Accrington Stanley.

The Dubliner joined League Two side Accrington last week, after ex-Sligo Rovers boss John Coleman pushed for a month's loan deal for O'Sullivan, and he scored twice on his debut last weekend, in a 5-4 win over Northampton Town.

"Gary Bowyer text me on Friday night and I am sure he will be on the phone again," said O'Sullivan.

"Everyone has been looking out for me, they know the potential I have and I am just happy to get the win for the lads. In my month here, I want to help Accrington Stanley and progress as a player. I haven't scored many in pre-season so to score two on my debut is perfect for me."