Craig Conway on missing out on the play-offs, Rhodes & Rudy and leaving the club

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Spending five and a half years at the club, Craig Conway is a player who is remembered only fondly by Rovers supporters across the globe.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the Scottish winger on the 1875 Podcast, where Craig discussed a range of topics with us, opening up over a 75-minute interview with Tom Schofield.

Below, we’ve compiled some of the highlights of the podcast, with the link to the full video chat at the bottom – please make sure you check it out!

Missing out on the play-offs under Gary Bowyer

The 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons under Gary Bowyer are remembered for several reasons, including the FA Cup run in the latter, but what often springs to mind is Rovers’ inability to reach the play-offs despite having a strong squad on paper.

Conway was a key figure in both teams – joining the club in January 2014 for the second-half of the 13-14 season – and believes himself that the side should have achieved a top six finish.

When asked about the aforementioned seasons and whether or not the club should have been in the play-offs, Craig said: “In short, yes.”

“The quality that we had throughout the team, it was a strong side. I think it just boils down to consistency really. Our home form probably wasn’t good enough but we could be up there one day and then we would struggle at home to Yeovil.

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“It definitely boiled down to consistency. I think that side that we had for two or three years, we probably should have at least been in the playoffs.”

Playing with Rhodes and Rudy

Of course, Rovers wouldn’t have even been in the running for the play-offs if it wasn’t for the goals of Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede – with the duo scoring 81 goals between them in two seasons – but Conway himself had a big hand in the pair’s success.

Speaking about his partnership with Rhodes and Rudy, Conway said: “In Jordan and Rudy, I had two people that were perfect for somebody whose strength is crossing. They had a real knack in having a high chance in where the ball was going, it made it really easy for me, I knew I had to just put it into an area. I just knew Jordan would get across the front and Rudy would be at the back post.

“At the same time, he [Gestede] still owes me money for his move that he got off my crosses!”

Leaving the club

After 200 appearances, and captaining the side on his final outing against Swansea City, Conway departed the club, posting his thanks to supporters on social media.

“I felt as if I should have played more games, but I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Tony Mowbray. I really like him as a guy. He’s a really honest guy and we left on the best possible terms – I just think it probably run its course,” said Conway.

“I didn’t play as much as I wanted to but I understand it, he [Mowbray] had players that he wanted to play and we had some really good players. I just felt the feelings I’ve always had in my career that I wanted to play.

Conway eventually signed for League Two side Salford City, but not before a deal fell through at Bolton, who were suffering financial difficulties and were in the midst of a takeover when the Scot was training with them.

“They’d [Rovers] offered me a contract to stay another year but I just felt I didn’t want to be sitting in the stands, sitting on the bench. Although I’d be sitting earning more money than I would be earning at Salford, it just didn’t sit right with me.

“A lot of people probably told me I was mad turning that amount of money down to stay again but I just wanted to play, and that’ll mean more to me when I retire – I’ll be looking back at my career saying ‘I gave it everything and played as many games as I could.’

“I’ll sit more comfortable with that than sitting on the bench or in the stands earning that money. I want to just play and you don’t know what else is going to happen.”

Craig conway on why playing means more to him than money.

“Admittedly, I thought it would be easier to secure a new club than it turned out to be, but I look back and never regret anything, it’s just one of them things”.

Check out our full podcast with Craig Conway here:

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