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Wide players must deliver end product

Boss backs Craig Conway to produce repeat performance against Middlesbrough

8 December 2018

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Tony Mowbray has thrown down the gauntlet to Craig Conway to keep his place in the side.

The boss believes Conway's eye-catching display in the 4-2 victory over Sheffield Wednesday was one of his best in a Rovers shirt - but it didn't come as a surprise.

Mowbray says that the Scot must continue to produce performances of that standard in order to remain in the starting line-up.

And ahead of Rovers' trip to the Riverside, the former Boro boss had one clear message for his wide players - 'they have to produce'. 

"I think he was very influential, he was very positive, he was full of energy," said the manager, when reflecting on last weekend's victory over the Owls.

"I kept asking him throughout the second half how he was feeling and he kept saying he felt fine.

"I think it's great when you're a footballer and you feel full of energy. Having been a footballer for a long time, some days you just can't put your finger on why you're lacking that bit of spark.

"And yet Craig was flying last week and there was no way he was ready to come off.

"So I'm delighted for him and yet I've judged him in my time here when he hasn't played because of what a good professional he is and how great he is at getting his head down and not just accepting it.

"He does knock on my door sometimes and asks what I think and what the future holds, but it's just been difficult to get him in the team.

"Harrison Reed has come forward and shown what a talented individual he is, Elliott Bennett when he's fit generally gets in the starting line-up, Adam Armstrong has excelled in certain games playing out on the left, so it's been difficult to get Craig in the team.

"But when neccessity came along and he was required, he showed me what I would have expected from him and more. It was better than just an honest, hard-working performance.

"He created, he stopped the opposition, he worked extremely hard, he played some good forward passes, he put balls in the box, he was a threat and you thought he was going to nick a goal.

"I'm delighted with him, but he will also know himself that that's the required level. If there's one phrase I've constantly said to Craig over the last year or so it's 'we need end product'.

"I need shots, I need crosses and I need goals. If you're going to play in the system we're playing at the moment, if you're going to play in the front four, you have to have end product.

"It's no good that just Bradley (Dack) and Danny (Graham) score goals, the wide players have to produce."

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