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Tony hoping his diamond continues to sparkle

Boss happy with the displays of his soldier Smallwood this season

27 March 2018

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Tony Mowbray hopes his fellow Teesider Richie Smallwood continues to sparkle in his midfield role, particularly now the booking cut-off point has now passed.

Incredibly, Smallwood went 13 games without picking up a yellow card after knowing one more telling off would have resulted in a two-game ban for the combative midfielder.
Tony's been full of praise for Richie for the majority of the season and discusses his relationship with a player who he believes deserves to test himself at a higher level.
“He wants to improve himself and help the team win football matches," the boss begins when talking about Smallwood.
"He’s a diamond of a lad and deserves all he gets in his career, which hopefully results in a promotion this season and then testing himself in the Championship - where he has played before as a young lad.
“I had him at Middlesbrough and it would be a great challenge for Richie to prove what he can do in the division above. He’s the same player now as he was back then.
“He comes literally from round the corner from where I come from. He’s from the same town, his family live hundred of yards away from where I was born, bred and brought up.
“He’s a rock, I know his personality and values. He has the right morals and standards."
And whilst the likes of Danny Graham, Bradley Dack and Adam Armstrong get the glory for their goalscoring exploits, Mowbray is okay with Richie going about his job without fuss.
“Football is about a balance, a chemistry. I call is soldiers and artists. Richie works extremely hard to allow the creative players to hurt teams at the top end of the pitch. He has discipline and knows where he should be on the pitch to stop counter attacks.
“He’s played a lot of football this season and I hope he’s enjoying his season."

Rovers are next in action on Thursday 29th March against Bradford City. Kick-off against the Bantams is at 7.45pm, and tickets can be purchased by clicking here

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