West Ham loanee Doneil Henry reveals how he almost missed Blackburn debut

Jack Walker statue at Ewood Park

A few troubles navigating his way up from London on the train almost saw the centre-back miss the 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

Loanee Doneil Henry has told Blackburn Rovers’ official website of his delight at earning his debut in Wednesday night’s 2-1 Championship win at Sheffield Wednesday.

Henry, 21, had begun the morning preparing to be part of West Ham United’s 20-man squad for the visit of Chelsea, but the defender instead ended it with his first senior appearance in English football after joining Rovers on a month-long deal.

The Canadian defender handled himself with impressive composure, too, managing to keep the imposing Atdhe Nuhiu in check for the 90 minutes, while making a match-leading 13 clearances and five tackles to help his side earn the three points.

He almost didn’t make the match after taking the wrong train up from London, turning up at the team hotel late, but the 14-times capped international is now hoping to build on a promising first outing to help Blackburn earn some more positive results over the coming weeks.

Speaking after the win, Henry said: “I was excited because I want to play games, so my day was about getting my gear, then getting on the train, getting on the wrong train, getting off at Leicester, then getting back on!

"Gary asked if I was comfortable and am I ready? Am I up to it? 100 per cent. I've been waiting for an opportunity to play some football and when it came I knew I had to perform.

"These are the games where you can really see when defending is really vital," he added. "Yes they scored late on us, but the guys were really solid, we knew what we wanted to do and again it was great to get the result.

"I'm just happy that the day is now over and the team is successful. The fans were great, the guys have been great since I got the call from Gary this morning, I really felt welcome.”

Henry was sold to Cypriot outfit Apollon Limassol from Toronto FC in 2014, but remained with his hometown team on loan through the 2014 MLS campaign, before moving to West Ham this winter without ever turning out for his new club.

The promising defender made 92 total appearances for the Canadian side between 2010 and 2014 and, while his time in MLS saw him come in for some criticism due to his frequent mental lapses [conceding a league-leading five penalties last season], last night’s showing went some lengths towards demonstrating his potential.

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