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Mowbray's difficult Danny dilemma

An impact from the start in midweek, Tony Mowbray's deliberating whether to plant Danny Graham in the XI again this weekend

15 August 2019

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Danny Graham was crucial to guiding Rovers into round two of the Carabao Cup earlier this week, and Tony Mowbray is deliberating whether to hand the hitman another starting berth against old club Middlesbrough.

The frontman, who turned 34 at the beginning of this week, played his part in two of the three goals against Oldham Athletic on Tuesday night.

The Player of the Year for last term found the net 16 times in 2019-20, but has been on the bench in both of Rovers' opening two league games of this campaign.

And Mowbray says he's now got a decision to make on the striker, who actually came through the youth ranks at Boro.

“I’ve never said anything other than positive things about Danny Graham," the boss told iFollow Rovers when previewing this weekend's game.

"I know his strengths, his weaknesses and what he brings to our team. Our team, in my mind, can’t solely depend on Danny Graham week in, week out.

“Why’s that? Well for one it’s because of his age and it’s also because of the way we want to play, and Danny’s aware of that.

"The age thing doesn’t bother him at all because it’s about what he does on the grass, helping the team and scoring goals.

“We scored the goals the other night because of his physical presence in the box. My decision based on each game is based on whether or not we need that physical presence from the start of a certain game or off the bench.

“We’ll make these decisions as the season goes forward. He’s an important player for us, but that doesn’t mean he’ll start every single week," he added.

“We’ll see if he impacts a game at the start or at the end of a match. Moving forward, we’ll learn lessons.

“We need to get a balance of what we’ve done well over the last two years and what we also want to evolve into.

“We have to recognise when certain types of balls are on and when they’re not. I’m sure we’ll get joy from Danny impacting a game either from the start or coming on as a substitute.”

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