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Mowbray assesses pre-season plans

Rovers boss believes team will be better prepared ahead of Championship return

6 June 2018

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Manager Tony Mowbray believes the team will be better prepared going into the new season than they were 12 months ago.

Rovers lost their opening two games in League One last term, having spent the summer playing pre-season friendlies against clubs from lower leagues.

But the boss believes this summer’s schedule will provide a sterner test of his team’s credentials.

After returning from a warm weather training camp in Austria, Rovers kick-off their pre-season preparations away to Scottish Premiership side Hibernian on Sunday July 8th.

Mowbray’s men then travel to League Two clubs Port Vale (Saturday July 14th) and Lincoln City (Sunday July 22nd), before concluding their pre-season campaign away to newly-promoted League One side Accrington Stanley (Saturday July 28th).

With a couple of high-profile friendlies still to be announced, the manager is confident the club have struck the right balance in terms of the calibre of clubs Rovers will face ahead of their return to the Championship in early August.  

“I think we’ve got a balanced pre-season this year,” said Mowbray.

“We’ve got some fixtures that we haven’t announced yet, that are going to really test the team. We’re going to be out of possession and we’re going to have to work hard on our defensive shape.

“And then there’s some games where hopefully we’ve got some of the ball and we’re going to work at trying to break the teams down.

“I felt last year we had too much of the ball in just about every game and we felt as if we were going to dominate every match and then the league started and we hadn’t played a League One side and we hadn’t played a Championship side – we’d played League Two and non-league teams – and so this year the balance is going to be better.

“The team will be more ready for the start of the season because there will be some games where we won’t have any of the ball – we’ll be defending and trying to make life difficult for the opposition.

“But there will be other games where I hope we’ll try and score some goals and be creative and play in their half, so it’s just about getting the right balance in pre-season and I’m looking forward to it already.”

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