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High hopes for young trio

Boss expects big things from Ben Brereton, Joe Rothwell & Jacob Davenport in 2019-20

12 June 2019

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Manager Tony Mowbray hopes a trio of young Rovers will have big parts to play next season, having acclimatised to life at the club.

Ben Brereton, 20, Joe Rothwell, 24, and Jacob Davenport, 20, all arrived at Ewood Park last summer, but started just 17 games between them during the 2018-19 Championship campaign.

Brereton, a big-money signing from Nottingham Forest, scored once in four league starts, having found it difficult to displace Danny Graham and Bradley Dack at the tip of Rovers’ attack.

Rothwell, who joined from Oxford United, made 13 league starts, including the last seven in succession – netting superb goals in back-to-back victories over Derby County and Nottingham Forest during that sequence, as his undoubted attacking talent came to the fore.

Davenport, who made the move from Manchester City, endured an injury-plagued season, before working his way back to full fitness with the Under-23s and then making his first team debut on the final day against Swansea City.

Having now found their feet at the club, the Rovers boss expects the exciting youngsters to become key members of his squad next season and really show the supporters what they can do.

“What happened last year, our targets disappeared and we had some money to spend and I didn’t really want it burning a big hole and then using it as an excuse,” said the manager.

“So I invested underneath, to know that what’s going to bubble up and become a big, big player for this club and as time erodes away, I’m sure people will be saying ‘how did you get hold of Ben Brereton?’.

“I’m hoping Jacob Davenport will be a big player for us this year, if he can stay fit and push on. And Joe Rothwell, who burst on in the last eight or nine games.

“They have to settle into the football club, they have to find their pecking order in the dressing room, they have to be a part of the group as they move forward.

“Ben is finding his feet in that dressing room full of Mulgrews, Bennetts and Grahams – big, big personalities and he’s just a boy. But his talent is there and they all respect his talent.

“I have to give him the opportunity and a year further on, I’m pretty sure that will happen this year.”

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