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New deal is Rich-ly deserved

Mowbray says Smallwood's displays last season were worthy of a new contract

15 July 2018

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Manager Tony Mowbray says Richie Smallwood's performances last season merited a new and extended deal.

The tenacious midfielder, who started every league game for Rovers last season, signed a new two-year contract on Friday, keeping him at Ewood Park until June 2020.

Smallwood became the fifth Rovers player who contributed to the club's promotion to the Championship to commit his future to the club, following in the footsteps of Danny Graham, Craig Conway, Darragh Lenihan and Derrick Williams.

The Rovers boss has now challenged the 27-year-old to replicate his fine form in the upcoming campaign.

"I felt he needed rewarding with a new deal, as we have done with a few other players," said Mowbray.

"He came from Rotherham on a free transfer and I'm just trying to align him with other players really.

"I thought he had a good season. It's a big test for Richie again this season, to play at what we hope will be the top half of the Championship.

"He's got to step up to the mark and let's hope he gets another contract in 12 months time."

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