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Boss: No time for rest

Tony tells us how preparations are shaping up during the international break

22 March 2018

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Although he may have a break from his usual press conference duties with Rovers out of action this week, Tony Mowbray says it's business as usual for his players.

The Blues are without several members of the first-team squad, of course, with Charlie Mulgrew, Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams, Corry Evans and Jayson Leutwiler all away on international duty.

And Mowbray says there's no time to ease off, with those still in East Lancashire working hard in training ahead of next week's game against Bradford.

“Obviously we’ve got reduced numbers this week, with four or five away on international duty, so it’s difficult for the players because there’s no game to target at the weekend," he told us.

“Really, it’s just about keeping their bodies ticking over and keeping training competitive and sharp by giving them something different to the normal match preparation. 

“It’s always about balance between work and rest, so they’ll have a few days work as well as working hard.

“We have to hope that the international players come back fit. After the weekend, we’ve got a three-day build-up into the game against Bradford.

"We’ll wait for Charlie to come back from Scotland, Darragh and Derrick from Ireland, Corry from Northern Ireland and Jayson from Canada.

“Hopefully they come back fit and ready."

The postponement of last weekend's game at Gillingham means Rovers will have had a sizeable gap between games, but the boss says that's not necessarily a bad thing.

“You can look for the positives during this break," he added. "It’s a big breather really, before one last push in the last six weeks of the season.

“We’ve got seven games in April, so it’s a huge challenge and a huge test for us. We’ve got to keep winning football matches.

“The games are going to come thick and fast, in midweek and at the weekends, so the lads have to be ready. 

“We have to keep them fit and try to pick the right teams as the games come along.

"We’ve got some travelling to do, we’ve got to go to Gillingham and Bristol, for example, two long trips. 

“We’ve got some difficult games but they’ve been difficult all season. I think we’ve had just one defeat in 27 league games, so we shouldn’t fear anyone.

“We’ll go into those games in a positive frame of mind and believing we can win them."

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