John O'Sullivan hoping to break in at Blackburn
IRELAND U21 star John O'Sullivan is confident he can finally break into the first team at Blackburn Rovers after he turned down the chance to move away and instead signed a new deal, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.
The Dubliner has been at Ewood Park for five years but he has only made one first-team appearance for Rovers and has spent much of this season out on loan.
League One side Barnsley were trying to sign O'Sullivan before the transfer window closed and lodged a £250,000 bid. But Blackburn have agreed a new one-year deal with the midfielder which will keep him at Ewood until 2016.
"I'm delighted to stay at Blackburn. I've been here since I was 15 and it's like home to me," said O'Sullivan, who may now go out on loan for the rest of this season.
"Talks have been ongoing for a few weeks, but everything has fallen into place now and I'm glad to be here for another 18 months.
"The plan is to hopefully get out on loan, if possible to a League One team, but even if I do I'll still be thinking about putting thoughts in the manager's mind and pushing for a place here. That's why I've signed this extension, because I think I have a real chance of playing at Blackburn in the future.
"I just need to show the gaffer that I'm good enough and if I do go back out on loan, then hopefully that's what I'll do."
O'Sullivan was part of the Ireland U19 side which reached the semi-finals of the European Championships in 2011 and has since been capped four times at U21 level.