Manager Tony Mowbray has often said that his phone never stops – even when he is about to score screamers on the beach!
Speaking in early May, ahead of our season finale against Swansea City, the Rovers boss reflected: “Everybody in my family understands that I’m on the phone a lot of the time. The kids get a bit annoyed if we’re in the middle of a match on the beach somewhere and I’m just about to bang one in the top corner and the phone rings!”
The manager is now back at Brockhall, having recently returned from a family holiday with his wife and three sons in Greece.
So, did he get much respite from players’ agents? And, more importantly, did he bang many in the top stanch?!
“I have had nine days away with my family,” said Mowbray, whose spectacular strike for Middlesbrough against Norwich City in 1988 recently became a viral hit!
“I played a lot of football on holiday and scored one or two goals. I got dragged into a lot of small-sided games with my kids against other kids and other families.
“Nicely, I met a few Blackburn Rovers fans on holiday as well and I made sure that the little kid in a Rovers away kit with ‘Dack 23’ on the back was on my side and I kept trying to set him up to score a goal!
“I had a nice break with my family and yet the phone does ring a lot.”
The Rovers boss insists that lots of hard work is going on behind the scenes, as the club look to strengthen the squad ahead of the players’ return for pre-season in a fortnight’s time.
“I do push a lot of the recruitment stuff, a lot of the agents, over to Stuart Harvey, our Head of Recruitment, and let him deal with it,” Mowbray added.
“Ultimately, the recruitment department is about filtering players. There are hundreds and hundreds of players and you have to filter them to what we require. I have stipulated what type of footballers would fit into our team and where we need to strengthen.
“Stuart filters them down for me and proposes the players. I have had a few conversations since I got back from holiday, met one or two people, and I’ve got one or two more meetings this week.
“The players are then back in for testing on the 24th, two days later we go to Austria and then the season will be upon us before we know it.
“Hopefully there will be a few new faces as early as we can in the building. As I’ve stipulated, it’s never easy unless you’ve got top dollar to pay top prices to get players in really early.
“I’ve spoken to a few players, I’ve spoken to a lot of agents, we know where we would like to go, we know which players we would like to sign, but those players have other options as well and they are probably sourcing out those options.
“But I’m hopeful that we’ll sign some players who can make us a better and more exciting team this year.”