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A great opportunity

Posted: Fri 26 Jul 2013
Author: rovers.co.uk
Gary Bowyer

Gary Bowyer

Image by: Action Images

Gary Bowyer is expecting Rovers’ toughest test yet this pre-season, as his side prepare to face Everton at Ewood Park on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).

Rovers are unbeaten so far this summer, after drawing against Wrexham, Rochdale and Preston and defeating Portimonense and Crewe.

The manager insists that fitness remains Rovers’ main priority on Saturday and results will only matter when the Championship season gets underway at Derby County next weekend.

“A home game against Everton is a great way to finish pre-season and a great opportunity for us to pit ourselves against what has been a very competitive Premier League side for a number of years,” said Bowyer.

“We’re expecting a very tough game, because we’re competing against one of the top six teams in the country, but we’ll be looking for our lads to express themselves and to compete at the levels we know they can reach."

Everton are expected to bring their strongest squad to Ewood Park with summer signing Arouna Kone likely to make his debut alongside the likes of Johnny Heitinga, Nikica Jelavic and Leighton Baines.

“We’ll be playing against some quality players," added the Rovers boss. "So we’re going to have to be very organised and disciplined in our shape and I’m sure there’ll be spells when we’re chasing the ball, but that will be good for our fitness levels.

“We’ve tried to crank things up a notch, both in terms of fitness and the quality of the opposition, in every game that we’ve played throughout pre-season, and Saturday’s match will give us our toughest test yet.

“Hopefully we’ll get a nice, sunny day and we get a real good crowd in there from both sets of supporters, ready in anticipation for the start of the season.

“We’ll be looking for good fitness levels, against a very good Everton team, hopefully we’ll come through it injury free and then we’ll get ready to prepare for Derby.

“Up until now, it’s been all about the lads getting the minutes under their belts. We’ve been pleased with how they’ve progressed in terms of their fitness levels and then after Saturday, it’s all about winning games.”

Tickets for Saturday's game are currently on open sale priced from £12 for Adults, £8 for Seniors and 16-21yrs, and £5 Juniors under 16.

Tickets will be available on the day of the game but with a large walk up anticipated, fans are advised to get down early ahead of the 2.00pm kick-off.