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Richie's a diamond, says the boss

Tony Mowbray has heaped praise on the midfielder for his standout work ethic and performances

2 February 2018

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Tony Mowbray has hailed Rovers midfielder Richie Smallwood as "a diamond" ahead of this weekend's trip to Plymouth.

The midfielder has been an ever-present at the heart of the Blues' midfield in 2017/18, playing a key part in the 18-game unbeaten run in the league.

Alongside his tough-tackling displays, Smallwood has also weighed in with goals and assists in recent weeks, scoring the winner at Fleetwood and setting up Danny Graham's second against Walsall in midweek.

Ahead of our next test, a long trip to in-form Plymouth on Saturday, the boss says the "King of Ewood" deserves the title bestowed upon him by the fans.

“He’s a diamond of a kid, to be honest. We train every day and I’ll tell you now that he trains as he plays," Mowbray said.

"The players know Richie is going to catch them now and again in training and they accept it.

"Sometimes at clubs players catch each other and want to have a little bust-up but everyone in our team knows that’s how Richie plays; if the ball is there, he’ll go for it.

"It doesn’t matter if it’s five-a-side or a cup final. I managed him five years ago and know what he’s about, he’s here to bring that tenacity.

"You’ve heard me talk about him being a soldier but he’s got a bit of artistry about him as well where he shows his quality."

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