Blackburn caretaker boss Eric Black insists long-serving midfielder David Dunn remains a vital part of the Ewood Park squad.

Former England international Dunn has been restricted to a solitary start and three substitute appearances in the npower Championship this term.

Two of those have come since Black took the reins in the wake of Steve Kean's resignation, but speculation continues to mount that the 32-year-old may leave his hometown club on loan.

Black acknowledges the player's plight and said: "He's obviously coming towards the end of his career, whether that be in three or four or whatever years. He wants to play football and I can't criticise him for that.

"We'll just have to see how it unfolds. I can't guarantee Dunny that he's going to play football every week. He may well, but I can't guarantee that and he'll want to play football. As far as I'm concerned he's a player here and let's see what happens.

"He's an experienced player, he's a Blackburn lad, he knows what it means to people around here for the team to be doing well so that's an element I require in the dressing room. The longer I can keep that there, the better."