Tony Mowbray assesses Blackburn Rovers’ pre-season plans
Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray believes his team will be better prepared for their league season than they were 12 months ago. The Rovers began their League One season last term with back-to-back defeats after having spent their pre-season tackling clubs from the lower divisions in England.
The Lancashire outfit once more have games against weaker sides in the form of Hibernian, Port Vale, Lincoln City and Accrington Stanley but Mowbray is pleased that the club have found a better balance with a couple of high-profile friendlies yet to be announced. He said:“I think we’ve got a balanced pre-season this year. We’ve got some fixtures that we haven’t announced yet, that are going to really test the team. We’re going to be out of possession and we’re going to have to work hard on our defensive shape. And then there’s some games where hopefully we’ve got some of the ball and we’re going to work at trying to break the teams down.”
Prior to those friendlies, Mowbray is expected to travel with the team for a warm weather training camp in Austria and the manager will be hoping to avoid any injuries to any of his key players. Despite suffering successive defeats at the start of last term, the Rovers eased their way to promotion from League One after they succumbed to only four more losses in the remaining 44 games.
However, they can’t anticipate a similar run on their return to the Championship considering the strength of other squads plying their trade in the division. As per the latest odds, Blackburn are among the top-five candidates who could potentially face relegation next term and it will be interesting to see whether the club will make a couple of quality signings to increase their chances of survival. Blackburn previously bowed out of the Championship via goal difference during the 2016/17 season.