Warnock becomes Rovers' second signing of the transfer window

ROVERS' latest signing Stephen Warnock didn't have to think long and hard over making the switch from Merseyside to Lancashire.

Despite being with the Anfield club since the age of 11, the 25 year-old needed little convincing from manager Mark Hughes to sign for the Ewood Park club on a three and a half year deal for an undisclosed fee.

"It has been a long time waiting it to happen but I'm very pleased to be here," said Warnock exclusively to Rovers.

"I spoke to the manager today and he sold the club to me, though he didn't really have to say much as I was more than happy to come here and play for him, I'm really excited about it."

Warnock could have stayed at Liverpool, the club he has supported since a boy, but chose to put his professional footballing career first in making the switch between the two Premiership sides.

"When you grow up supporting Liverpool as a lad and then you get to play for the team it is a great experience and you never expect to leave, but when you are at such a big club like Liverpool you always know at the back of your mind that someday you might have to move on to play regularly. So I'm not upset about leaving because I know I'm coming to a fantastic club and I'm going to be given the chance to play and show what I can do."

Impressed with how Rovers performed last season, the Ormskirk lad has kept an eye on the progress of Mark Hughes' side and can't wait to get started with his new team-mates, although Warnock knows that he'll have to earn his place in the starting eleven.

"You look at Blackburn last year and they were fantastic getting into Europe and speaking to the manager again today that is his aim again. That is what I want to be doing, playing in the Premier League and playing European football. Blackburn are on a great run at the moment and I understand that it will be a challenge to get in the team, I'm not expecting to come here and walk straight into the team, I know I'm going to have to work hard and prove to the manager why he has bought me."

Not signed in time to be involved in Rovers' league game against Watford, Warnock could be in line to make his debut in the FA Cup against either Luton Town or Queens Park Rangers Saturday lunchtime.

Mark Hughes made his admiration for the 25-year-old clear when Liverpool entered the bidding for Lucas Neill and Warnock was going to be part of that switch until the Australia defender opted for Upton Park over Anfield.

However, Hughes continued his pursuit and Reds manager Rafael Benitez finally relented.

"He's a guy that has good experience for a man of his age, says Hughes. 

"He has Champions League experience and has played a decent amount of Premier League games as well. I just like his attitude to the game. He wants to get up to people, to put pressure on people and really he just fits the bill as far as I'm concerned.

He is naturally left-footed as well which gives us that balance on the left-hand side which we didn't have with Lucas being right-footed.

Liverpool really appreciated the qualities that he has and they weren't too keen on allowing a good young English player to leave their football club. I think that is the reason maybe the deal hasn't been done before."

Copyright - Blackburn Rovers official website

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