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Boss lays down challenge to Rothwell

Tony Mowbray wants to see the playmaker have a devastating impact in the final third of the pitch

26 November 2019

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Goals and assists need to be the target for Joe Rothwell according to the 24-year-old's manager, Tony Mowbray.

Rothwell made his fourth start of the campaign against Barnsley at the weekend, and produced an impressive display both in the final third and in carrying out his defensive duties towards the other end of the pitch.

He was replaced by John Buckley with 11 minutes remaining, but Mowbray was encouraged by the showing from the Rovers number 8.

However, the boss confesses that Rothwell does need to have more of an effect on the team when it comes to finding the back of the net.

“Joe started bright and positive, and if you’re only getting 20 minutes in games and then are asked to do 90 minutes then it’s always going to be a tough ask," Mowbray began when reflecting on the midfielder's display against Barnsley.

“He fell off in the last half hour or so and it was difficult for him to impact the game after half time.

“If we’re going to play players like Joe Rothwell then they’re going to have to impact the game.

“We’ve been watching his clips with him and he’s very talented on the ball. He needs to work hard to find the ball because he’s very quick when he jinks past the first challenge and runs into space.

“He’s got to then be more positive, drive forward and commit defenders rather than going across the pitch.

“Laying it off, playing one-twos on the edge of the box, those are the kind of things that he’s good at and needs to do more of.

“Joe knows that. You repeat, you repeat and you repeat and I feel the penny is dropping.

“Where’s the end product? Where’s the goals? Where’s the assists? Is Joe Rothwell less talented than Bradley Dack? He’s quicker than Bradley and has as super fast feet as Bradley Dack," he added.

“Your state of mind has to be to get in the box to score and then get back to defend.

“Joe’s taken all this information on board and knows he has to score more goals and get more assists."

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