Football - Bowyer lauds Hanley and Jones

Manager Gary Bowyer believes Blackburn centre-back Grant Hanley shares many similarities with Manchester United's Phil Jones after watching the two do battle at international level.

PA Sport Report

Ex-Rovers defender Jones and his former team-mate Hanley, both 21, were reunited at Wembley on Wednesday night when England defeated Scotland 3-2.

It was a proud moment for Bowyer, who watched the pair progress through the ranks at Ewood Park together prior to England international Jones' big-money move to Manchester United.

While Bowyer concedes the two have contrasting on-field attributes, he believes they both possess the mental qualities needed to perform at the highest level.

"They're two different types of players but what they both have is a massive desire to succeed," said Bowyer.

"They have great work ethic, both of them. They have the will to win to the extent that they're like senior pros already and they're only 21.

"What they've gone through...they're a throwback, if you like. They've both got good families and good values, they deserve everything they've got, the pair of them."

Hanley played all 90 minutes for Gordon Strachan's side and enhanced his reputation further as they pushed the Auld Enemy all the way.

Bowyer acknowledges his defender has his sights set on top-flight football and hopes he can realise those aims at Blackburn.

"We offered him a big contract at the start of the year, a five-year deal, and he signed it; the lad's happy here," added Bowyer.

"He has aspirations to play up there and I'm delighted he has. Hopefully it can be with us, if not then the lad's destined to get there at some stage of his career."

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