On-loan striker Sam Gallagher still improving, says Blackburn boss Owen Coyle

On-loan striker Sam Gallagher still improving, says Blackburn boss Owen Coyle

Boss Owen Coyle tipped on-loan striker Sam Gallagher for the top after his brace against Nottingham Forest moved Blackburn out of the Championship drop zone.

A 2-1 success - just Rovers' second of the season at home in the league - moved Coyle's men above both Cardiff and Wigan in the division's lower reaches.

They had Gallagher, borrowed for the season from Southampton, to thank for the three points as he poked beyond Vladimir Stojkovic 11 minutes in before applying the finish to Corry Evans' pull across to take his tally for the campaign to five.

"I've been an admirer of Gallagher for years," Coyle said.

"We had to work hard to get him here. He had the loan spell (at MK Dons) last year but it didn't go well for him because it came on the back of the bad injury he had.

"I felt we could impart some knowledge, experience that we've picked up. I've had some very good strikers that have come to me, we managed to help Daniel (Sturridge), Benik Afobe, (Marc) Albrighton for a spell, very good attacking players.

"I said to Sam I felt he was in that mould of those players that can continue to develop.

"He's not the finished article. He's willing to listen, learn, you see the pace he's got and he can score goals. He's not ready yet but I think in time he's going to be a very good player."

It may have taken Blackburn until the eighth attempt to record their first league win, but 10 points in their past six fixtures has summer appointment Coyle believing their true colours are showing through.

"We knew it was such a big, big job coming in when the team each year had been regressing in terms of the league positions," he added.

"We'd sold two of the best centre-backs in the Championship for B£10million (Shane Duffy and Grant Hanley), and then we had to go and bring one or two in.

"We don't find ourselves where we are because of how we've been playing the last six or seven games. We took one point from five games with all the turmoil at the start, (but) I think that's 10 points from the last six games.

"We're a decent team in the Championship so what we've got to do is show that level of consistency, which we have been doing."

Forest have now lost five away league games out of seven on Philippe Montanier's watch and showed little attacking intent even though they pulled a goal back late on through Damien Perquis.

That was not to be the start of a dramatic comeback and Hildeberto Pereira was dismissed in stoppage time for a second yellow card having hauled down Craig Conway as he led a Rovers counter.

"We started very badly in the first half. For me we lost the game in the first half. I don't know why, what's happened," Montanier said.

"We prepared very well and after Birmingham (3-1 win on Friday night) we had confidence. But it's a handicap for us if you play only 45 minutes of the 90.

"The second half was better and we are closer to a goal at the end, but it's not sufficient to play only one half."

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