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Mowbray on the middle...

Boss wants his central midfield players to nail down starting spots in the Rovers engine room

29 December 2017

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Rovers boss Tony Mowbray admits he's happy with his options in the central midfield department and says competition for places is strong.

Mowbray brought in Peter Whittingham, Rekeem Harper and Richie Smallwood in the summer to bolster the Rovers engine room ahead of this campaign.

And the boss has laid down the gauntlet to all of his options to ensure they earn and keep their place in the team.

"We're strong in the centre of the park," Mowbray confessed.

"We have a lot of competition in there. Richie is mainly the anchor in there and we also have Corry Evans, Peter [Whittingham], Willem [Tomlinson], Rekeem [Harper].

"Each player has to strive to force themselves in there. Competition has to remain strong in that area of the pitch.

"It ultimately comes down to trust and getting the job done in midfield and being the player that is expected.

"Some footballers manage to do that and cement their names on the teamsheet with their performance levels but others find it more difficult."

And Tony reserved special praise for key man Smallwood, who has been a crucial part of the side throughout the campaign so far.

"Credit has to be given to Richie who has cemented himself in the team with his performance levels and has been a key man for us in there with his displays," the boss added.

"Richie's deserved to play as much as he has through his displays and I'm hoping that continues."


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