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Downing deserves regular football

“The main reason Paul has been allowed to go is because of his contribution to the football club"

24 January 2019

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Rovers manager Tony Mowbray says he's allowed Paul Downing to make the move to Doncaster Rovers for his excellent service to the club.

Downing, who originally joined Rovers on a loan del from MK Dons in the summer of 2017, today made the move to Doncaster, and will stay at the Keepmoat Stadium until the end of the season.

It's a return to the place where promotion was secured for Rovers and Downing in August 2017, with Paul playing a major part in our return to the Championship.

And speaking following the 27-year-old's switch to Donny, Mowbray wishes the defender all the best under Grant McCann.

“The main reason Paul has been allowed to go is because of his contribution to the football club," the boss said to iFollow Rovers.

“If you put it into context, we signed him from MK Dons. He was sitting on the bench at MK Dons and was a young boy who I knew from my time at West Bromwich Albion.

“Whilst he didn’t start the season in League One, for a vast majority of it he played and helped us win football matches. He brought composure and a steadiness to the team.

“I just feel that his opportunities this season have been limited. If you think of [Charlie] Mulgrew, [Darragh] Lenihan, [Derrick] Williams and [Jack] Rodwell, for Paul, the nature of the game is that he finds himself as fifth choice centre half.

“When he told me he wanted to play football, it was something that I could easily have said no to. I could have told him to sit with us, don’t play, pick his money up.

“But Paul wants to play and I’ve allowed him to move on with his career, and we wish him well."

Mowbray also added that the emergence of Rodwell, who has played a part in back-to-back Championship clean sheets, shifted Downing down the pecking order for a place at the heart of defence.

“We’re not worried about his salary, it was about doing the right thing for a lad, as it’s rare that a fifth choice centre half gets thrown in in an emergency," he said.

"That’s football. I do feel his frustration at not playing.

“We’re a professional football club and he needs to get on with it, whether he’s picked or not.

“But there is a human side to it. He’s done fantastically well for this football club and I want to do the right thing for Paul, his family and his career."

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