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Jayson’s arrival creates competition - boss

Tony Mowbray delighted to be reunited with former Middlesbrough keeper

2 August 2017

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Rovers boss Tony Mowbray is delighted to be reunited with Jayson Leutwiler – five years after first bringing him to England.

Mowbray signed the Swiss-born goalkeeper for Middlesbrough from FC Basel in July 2012, but he found first team opportunities limited behind former Rovers keeper Jason Steele, who signed for Sunderland last month.

Leutwiler left the Riverside in the summer of 2014 to join Shrewsbury, where he has played almost 150 games over the past three years, before being reunited with Mowbray at Rovers.

The manager confirmed that Spanish stopper David Raya will start the season in possession of the gloves, but he believes that his latest signing will provide stiff competition for the number one spot between the sticks.

"We are very happy,” said Mowbray. “We needed to create competition after Jason Steele left. I’ve said on record that I really like David Raya, I think he's my type of goalkeeper.

"I'm happy that Jayson has come in to create competition. He's a lad I know well. As a 23-year-old, I signed him from Basel for Middlesbrough, but for whatever reason he didn't really get an opportunity and he moved on.

"I still believe he's a decent goalkeeper and he's somebody who will put some pressure on David to try and get that first team shirt."

Mowbray insists that Leutwiler possesses all the attributes he looks for in a goalkeeper, which is what prompted him to secure his services from Switzerland five years ago, but it will be down to the Canadian international to grasp his opportunity with both hands when given a chance.

“We just could see potential really,” added the Rovers boss. “His athleticism, his size, his distribution – all the things I like in goalkeepers.

"As goalkeepers, like any position on the field, they need opportunities to play, otherwise you are stuck as a number two and nobody ever sees you – as David Raya was behind Jason Steele for quite a while.

"So Jayson knows the situation, he is going to have to be patient because David at this moment is the number one goalkeeper. He accepts that and understands it and tells me he is going to work really hard and put some pressure on him to try and get in the team.

"We'll give him opportunities somewhere along the line, maybe in a cup, and hopefully it goes well for him. Hopefully, in my mind, David Raya stays as positive and as good as he has been and it is very difficult for the number two to get in, but let’s wait and see how it unfolds."

Following Jason Steele’s switch to Sunderland last month, Mowbray insists he was eager to bring a new goalkeeper on board before the start of the season.

"I think it was very important really,” he added. “It is important for goalkeepers to have competition. It is important that they know that there is somebody chomping at their heels wanting their spot in the team.

"Hopefully we have created that, but only time will tell. Goalkeepers understand that there is only one position and only one can play, and as long as Jayson comes and works very, very hard and puts pressure on David Raya then I'll be pleased enough with that."

And as well as being a top talent, Mowbray believes Leutwiler has a first class personality to match.

"He is a terrific lad,” added the manager. “I try to put a lot of stock into the players I sign. I put a lot of background work on their personalities and what they bring to the dressing room as well as their talent.

"Jayson Leutwiler brings a wonderful personality. He'll settle in very quickly I'm sure and given the opportunity to play I'm sure he'll do well."

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