A stand-in schoolteacher and a social media movie maker … two things Tony Mowbray did not expect to become this year!
However, the Rovers boss has learnt some new skills since the country was forced to go into lockdown due to the Coronavirus crisis.
But being out in the garden, playing football with his three sons, is what has brought the manager most joy during the recent restrictions.
“I think we’ve had the weather that has helped,” said Mowbray.
“I live in the North East and the weather has been really nice up here. I’ve got a nice garden and I’ve got three boys that I can keep busy with.
“They’re 15, 12 and 10, and they all want to play footy in the garden. We’ve got a few goals and it’s been good to spend some real quality time with my children.
“My youngest is into this TikTok and he’s doing his little videos and I’m top cameraman on his phone!
“When they’re doing their schoolwork that’s really hard. I was trying to help with some German yesterday and I never did German at school, so it can get a bit stressful as well at times.
“Even fractions and algebra, I try to think back 40 years to when I was doing my school stuff, but generally home life is ok and we’re just getting on with it.”
Mowbray says that the past seven weeks has provided him with the opportunity to spend quality time at home with his family, which he ordinarily wouldn’t get due to the non-stop nature of the Championship calendar.
“The first month or so, it’s enjoyable,” he added. “It felt a little bit like close season in the summer, except you couldn’t go on your holidays. You weren’t getting on an aeroplane and flying away to the sun.
“But we’ve spent some lovely time in the garden. It’s been good to sit out there in the sun. My wife has been able to sit in the garden and catch some sun and watch us all play football.
“It’s time you would never really have as a family, because ultimately in the summer months, if you can find a window for the kids being off school when you’re in the close season and you have that short period as a family holiday, you very rarely ever spend, like we are doing now, time at home together, cooking meals and eating together around the table.”