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Young boys will benefit

Boss believes the likes of John Buckley will learn a lot from Bradley Johnson

6 July 2019

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Manager Tony Mowbray believes Rovers' exciting crop of young players will benefit greatly from working with new signing Bradley Johnson.

The Rovers boss hopes Johnson, who yesterday signed a two-year deal with the club, will be able to pass on his vast experience to the likes of young midfielders Lewis Travis, Jacob Davenport and John Buckley.

Coupled with the signing of former England international Stewart Downing, Mowbray believes it is important to strike the right balance between experience and youth in the squad, in order to achieve success.

"At 32, he's a man," Mowbray said of new boy Bradley Johnson, who has played over 500 career games.

"We like our young players - the Buckleys and Butterworths and Magloires - and somewhere along the line you have to balance that off with experience to lead the way.

"So Stewart Downing and Bradley Johnson are players who will set the standards on the training ground and we're looking forward to the season unfolding in front of us and getting the combination right between the experience and the youth.

"Hopefully we'll get the balance right between the legs and the enthusiasm of the young players mixed with the quality and the class of the older players, and hopefully that balance will be a real positive for us."

Johnson has spent the past four seasons at Derby County, helping the Rams reach the Championship play-offs on three occasions.

And Mowbray insists that winning mentality will be an invaluable ingredient in the group.

"He's a guy who just knows what it takes week-in week-out to keep grinding out results, to keep finding performances and to keep at a really high performance level," added the Rovers boss.

"When you have three games in a week and a tough game away from home, where you have to dig really deep and pick the right pass at the right time and know when to put your foot through it.

"Sometimes the younger players don't get that balance. At their best they can be really special, but other days they can fall just short.

"I think the experience of knowing what it takes is really important and I'm just looking forward to working with him and hopefully he can hit the ground running and help us get some results."

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