Leeds United loanee Ian Poveda reflects on starring role for Blackburn Rovers

Leeds United loanee Ian Poveda said he was left 'very emotional' after playing a starring role for Blackburn Rovers.

By Joe Urquhart
Monday, 8th November 2021, 12:36 pm
Updated Monday, 8th November 2021, 2:24 pm

The Whites winger has struggled to make a lasting impact in the Championship since securing a summer season-long loan move to Ewood Park in a bid to pick up regular first team minutes.

The 21-year-old had been limited to just six appearances - including only two starts - ahead of Saturday's hosting of Slaviša Jokanović's Sheffield United in Lancashire.

Head coach Tony Mowbray, though, called on the Leeds man from the start in league action following a damaging 7-0 midweek defeat at the hands of Fulham.

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Rovers responded among the wholesale changes to the line-up as Poveda provided an assist for Ben Brereton Diaz before finding the back of the net himself in a 3-1 win.

Poveda, who had recorded just one assist all season ahead of the game, cut a relieved figure post-match after finally making his presence felt.

“It was a very special day for me, very emotional," the 21-year-old attacker reflected, having been handed the man-of-the-match award.

“To score, assist and get man of the match, it’s a moment that I dreamed of the night before, thankfully it came true.

Leeds United's Ian Poveda is on loan at Blackburn Rovers. Pic: Getty

“The team was outstanding against a great side. The lads did amazing to bounce back from the midweek defeat to Fulham.

"We stuck at it, the manager had faith in us and was driving us on."

Asked about his assist and goal, he added: "I saw Bezza [Brereton Diaz] dribbling with the ball, my calves were feeling tight, but I knew I had to get around him and be an option.

“Shooting low and hard, the ‘keeper parried it and I managed to slot the rebound in. There were crazy scenes after that and it was great for our amazing fans as well.

“It was an unforgettable feeling. We got our heads down, got on with it and the three points are for the fans.”

Mowbray, who sees his side now sit seventh in the table as they chase a play-off berth this term, was left pleased by the impact of Poveda in what was his breakout performance for Rovers.

“The two wide attackers, (Reda Khadra and Ian Poveda), are two young kids, who have waited for their chances," the Blackburn boss reflected.

"I’ve done a lot of talking to them both in my office, about running, working, cutting off passing lines, chasing back, winning headers and tackling, because they both want to play with the ball and dribble past people.

"That’s not how football is at this level. That might be the case at under-23 level, because it is almost like playing chess, as everyone stands in their position and move the ball around the pitch, but this is the Championship and they have to both run, work and fight.

“I thought they both did that really well today, but they also brought the high quality we needed, which they both possess.

"That high quality is why their clubs have allowed them to come to a team whose manager will shout at them, sometimes and tell them that they’re not playing, if they don’t put the running in.

"Today, they ran, they both did their jobs, they also got a goal each and I’m delighted for the pair of them."

Elsewhere, full-back Leif Davis secured the man of the match award for loan club AFC Bournemouth over the weekend.

The 21-year-old secured just his second start for Scott Parker's men in the Championship after several injury problems and provided an assist in the 4-0 victory over Swansea City.