Nineteen-year-old Ben Blythe was on media duties after an assured performance in defeat to Championship Stoke City in the Carabao Cup.
The young centre back was making his first start for the club after playing 45 minutes in the final game of the 2021/22 season. Despite his age, he helped organise a young Rovers defence to limit an experienced Potters forward line.
On developing as a player:
“It was a good experience for me being a young lad. I’ve come to Stoke and I think I did alright.
“Every game is a learning curve. I can learn something from every experience, and I feel like I’m improving all the time.
“I speak to the gaffer and ask what I can do better and I’m always learning on the training ground.
“I’ve still got to learn the game, I’ve only played two senior games so I’ve got loads more development to come. I’m working with Hunty [Noel Hunt], the gaffer, Tommy Rowe, Tom Anderson and working hard so I can keep progressing.
“I learn off everyone. I ask questions which you’ve got to do because I’m learning the game. Everyone sees the game differently.
“It’s a massive opportunity for me at the moment. There’s a few injuries so if I can impress who knows what can happen. I’ll take the opportunity if I get it.
“We were all given a chance on Tuesday and I hope that we’ve proved to the manager that he can trust in us for the big occasions.”
On the game against Stoke City:
“I think everyone’s given 110%. I can’t fault anyone, I think we’ve given our all.
“We kept a nice shape about us, the two goals are disappointing from the defensive side of things but we’re a young group of lads and we’ll work on things.”
On his progression through the Academy:
“I’ve had a lot of setbacks.
“I’m not the biggest as you can see but I’m working to bulk up my size. I like to get on the ball and link up with my teammates.
“I’ve had to move clubs, convince new managers to believe in me.
“I’ve been rejected from two clubs but this club took the chance.”
On support from his family:
“My family were delighted when I told them I was playing. They were all saying “can you get me tickets, can you get me tickets?”
“Some of them didn’t get to come down but I think the ones that were able to turn up will be proud of me. My mum and dad were both in the crowd.”