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Should they stay or should they go?...

The gaffer explains that he has decisions to make on a number of his Rovers starlets

27 July 2019

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Tony Mowbray says decisions will be made soon on his talented group of Academy graduates who have been in and around the first team picture this pre-season.

A number of the starlets joined up with the first team at the start of pre-season, with plenty heading out with the rest of the squad for the week-long trip to Austria earlier this month.

The likes of John Buckley, Joe Rankin-Costello, Joe Grayson, Tyler Magloire, Dan Butterworth and Andy Fisher have all earned valuable game time so far this summer as they bid to impress Mowbray and his coaching staff.

But with a week to go until the beginning of the Championship campaign, Mowbray admits he has decisions to make after witnessing the summer auditions.

“Who won't be going out on loan? Buckley definitely won't be going out on loan, we've spoken to Butterworth, we'll see how he is fitness-wise this week," the manager revealed after the final pre-season clash against Blackpool.

“But in my mind I think we have to keep those around the squad. Rankin-Costello is showing me that he is real competition, even though he's an attacking midfielder, he's doing a great job.

“Joe can almost play anywhere; he's a very versatile player. You need players you can trust when you pick up injuries and those who can do a job for you.

“Joe Grayson is another one who deserves a mention this pre-season. He's a young defender with an amazing left foot.

“In my mind, at the moment, I'm not thinking that they'll be going out on loan.

“They'll be competing to get in our first team squad, so what will happen is that we'll watch the training this week, we'll see if they are ready for next week," he added.

“Scotty Wharton has already gone out on loan and there might well be one or two others who do the same.

“The ones who we feel will impact the first team will remain. It's about being sensible and having the right balance with your young players between giving them experience elsewhere to progress their careers, but also that if they are close to the first team then you need to talk to them.

“It's four or five months of their careers, and if they then aren't getting game time and it gets to January then the argument from them, their advisors and their parents is that they will need to go out and play.”

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