Grant Hanley: Blackburn's new captain 'can handle responsibility'

Grant Hanley

Grant Hanley is sure he will be a success as Blackburn captain after inheriting the role following Scott Dann's move to Crystal Palace.

The 22-year-old had previously led the side in Dann's absence, but was sent off for violent conduct while wearing the armband at Wigan in October.

Hanley told BBC Radio Lancashire he has learned from the incident.

"I realise what a big responsibility the job of club captain is, especially at such a big club," said the defender.

"It was daft and people might have doubted me, but there was never any doubt in my mind. I'm fully confident in myself. I spoke to [Blackburn manager] Gary [Bowyer] after it happened and he assured me that he had full confidence in me."

The Scotland international marked his first appearance as permanent captain of Rovers with a goal - his first of the season - in the 2-0 home win against Lancashire rivals Blackpool on 1 February.

"It's a massive challenge and something I'm proud of," he continued. "Hopefully I can settle into the role well and hopefully we can make a push [towards promotion] towards the back end of the season.

"I've done it, under Gary funnily enough, for the youth team and the reserves. It's something I've experienced before, although it's a lot different at first-team level.

"I'm not going to change the way I play. I'll keep doing what I've always done. I'm an organiser on the park and I like to talk. More than anything, it keeps me concentrated."

Centre-back Dann's move to Premier League side Palace, for an undisclosed fee, was completed shortly before the end of the January transfer window.

"A player like Scott is always a big loss to a team, but we've got to focus on what we've got now," Hanley added. "Matt Kilgallon has stepped in and he's a great player. If we can get a good relationship going, hopefully we can move forward."

Blackburn are eighth in the Championship, five points from a play-off spot, and face Middlesbrough on Saturday.

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