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Mowbray pleased to make Smallwood signing

Boss delighted to bring in midfielder

22 June 2017

Rovers boss Tony Mowbray is looking forward to working with Richie Smallwood again after making him his second summer signing.

The 26-year-old has joined on a free transfer from Rotherham United, where he played over 130 games and secured promotion from League One.

Mowbray first worked with the midfielder at Middlesbrough and believes he has the right talent and temperament to become a fans favourite at Ewood Park.

"Richie Smallwood is a lad I knew as a kid at Middlesbrough," said the Rovers manager.

"He was a young kid that was coming through and he's from the same part of the world as I'm from and our fans will like his endeavour, his commitment and his passion.

"He will put his foot in, he will challenge for every ball and he will compete for everything on the pitch.

"I've told him he'll have to work really hard to get himself in the team, because we have some high-quality players, but there's going to be lots of games where we need a character who is there to compete for us and win the ball back and give it to the likes of Whittingham or Evans or the footballers who can spray it around the pitch.

"I think whilst Richie is a good passer of the football, his main qualities and the reason we've brought him here is to give us a bit of stability. To win it back and pass it simple. To keep the ball for the team.

"I know him as a human being and he's a fantastic lad. He'll run through a brick wall for you and whilst he might not be as exciting an acquisition as a Petter Whittingham, I think he's a very solid, hard-working, honest, full of integrity footballer."

Our fans will like his endeavour, his commitment and his passion.

Tony Mowbray

Mowbray insists that he has followed Smallwood's progress since he left Middlesbrough and is convinced that he will bring vital qualities to the Rovers midfield.

"I'm sure he could have stayed at Middlesbrough, as some young players do, but he took the decision to move on and he's played a lot of football and got a promotion out of League One with Rotherham and got their Player of the Season award as well," added Mowbray.

"So he's a young guy I'm looking forward to reconnecting with really and I know what I'm going to get before I even see him again.

"I just felt that he'd bring qualities that every team needs and I think it's important that we did have a player like that, so that we weren't a soft touch on the tough nights away from home in the middle of winter.

"It was important that we do have somebody who wants to put their foot in and compete."

• Don't forget, Rovers fans now have extra time to take advantage of the club's price freeze on season tickets for the 2017-18 season.

The great-value Early Bird offer - and claim your seat deadline - has been extended until Saturday July 1st.

With adult prices starting from just £279, it means supporters who buy or renew a season ticket can see all the action at Ewood Park for less than £13 per game.

For more details, visit the new supporter portal 'My Rovers' at www.my-rovers.co.uk

 


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