Blackburn star Bradley Dack has vowed to let his football do the talking after nearly ending up in prison

The Rovers midfielder has taken the Championship by storm hitting six goals on their return to England’s second tier this season.

The 24-year-old's credentials will be tested against high-flying Leeds United at Ewood Park.

Dack exclusively told SunSport: “It’s one those games when you get promoted to the Championship you want to play in.

"We know they are a great side, we’ve studied them, we’ve been training this week working on their strengths and weaknesses.

"They’ve had a lot of plaudits their season and it a real indicator of where we are at, test ourselves, we played against a few of the top teams."

But things could have gone a different way for the Londoner who faced the frightening prospect of going to prison for breaching a community order three times after assaulting a police officer.

Dack revealed: “It was something that scared me, it’s a scary thought now to think about it.

“The penny dropped at the thought of me going to prison, I had to look at myself and think of what I have to do to be a better person and for this not to happen again.

“I’ve been lucky, I’m doing community service and after that has finished there will not be any more problems.

“I work with disadvantaged people and interact with them, it makes you look at yourself and how lucky you are.

“Now we’ve become friends we play games for three or four hours for two nights a week.

“It gives me a lot of fulfilment, I’m helping to make their day – we are all on first-name terms, it’s relaxed and it’s a really good place to be round.

“The first time I went there, it made me look back and think ‘wow I’m lucky’ and to give them some joy on Monday and Thursday nights is great.

“It's taken me out of the (football) bubble because now I’m a normal person who got into trouble. 

“There are other people there who run the group with me and you hear different people's stories about what they have done and a lot of them don’t have the same background as me.”

Rovers boss Tony Mowbray had Leicester City’s James Maddison at Coventry and reckons the Londoner is in the same bracket as the Foxes midfielder who has broken into the England squad.

Southgate was in the stands to watch Dack go head-to-head with Mason Mount in the draw at Pride Park last month.

Dack added: “I’d love to play for my country one day, it’s a goal I want to achieve. 

“It's nice to be talked about in that way, it would be a dream.

“Southgate has said he will look below the Premier League, so I have to keep my head down and keep doing the business.

“Mount has been involved in all the England age groups, I think the manager knows him and is one for the future and they are looking to build him in now.

“It’s not something I’m bitter about, it’s goal of mine to play for my country and one that will hopefully come if I keep playing the way I am."

West Brom failed with two deadline day bids for the ex-Gillingham star in August, but the Lancashire club dug their heels in and Dack explained he was not demanding an Ewood Park exit.

Dack continued: “I could have left Blackburn but I’m way happier now than the time I could have left Gillingham, It’s a massive a massive club, I love being here, everything is here to go to the next level.

“I had conversations with the manager and the club and they said they didn’t want me to leave, so I told them I’ll leave it with you, I want to stay, I won't kick up a fuss, I want to be here and if an offer comes in they accept it, then it out of my hands then it becomes my decision.

The stylish midfielder’s eyes light up when he speaks about Mowbray, the man who Dack admits took a chance on him a year ago.

And Mowbray’s gut instincts were bang on as he plundered 18 goals as Rovers sealed automatic promotion last term.

Dack continued: “He’s the best manager I have worked under, especially his man management.

“He will always back you, you might think he’s a bit old school, but the way he does things is new school.

“He’s worked with top players at the highest level, he’s someone you respect and listen to – he has helped me come along as a player and a person.

“The gaffer took a gamble on me and want to repay the faith he showed in me last season, I felt it was only right I get my first crack at the Championship here.”

All eyes were on Dack before the season kicked off and he makes it clear he is not prepared to rest on his laurels and has picked the brains of the experienced players in the camp to found out how he could improve.

He continued: “I knew I had to step up, there were questions marks about me, could I cut it in the Championship, it’s a question I wanted to answer and so far I feel I’ve answered that so far this season. 

"I wanted to know what to expect – I’ve watched it on tv but you don’t get a feel for it that way.

“I spoke to Charlie Mulgrew, Danny Graham and Elliot Bennet who have experience at this level and got pointers from them.

“They told me it's quicker, more physical, and you need to think quicker.”

Dack is desperate to test himself at the highest level and the good news for the Rovers faithful is he what to do it at Ewood Park

He said: “I will always back my ability, I think I can go to the top level, and hopefully that will be with Blackburn.”



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