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Boss thrilled to seal Downing deal

The experienced midfield man made a Rovers return earlier today

2 November 2020

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Stewart Downing is back for more and Tony Mowbray is delighted to have the experienced ex-England midfielder with him at Ewood Park.

Downing penned a deal to make a Rovers return earlier today, after admitting that he initially thought his time with the club was over.

The 36-year-old certainly impressed everyone with his class both on and off the pitch last term, starting in 38 of Rovers 46 league outings.

And now Downing's back in the building, Mowbray explains just why the former Liverpool and West Ham United man didn't arrive earlier.

“We needed to check all the financials and to make sure we filled the positions on the pitch that we needed to fill, that was the main criteria," the boss explained to iFollow Rovers.

“We worked pretty hard throughout the window and I think on the back of that we needed to have some conversations with Stewart.

“I just think that the versatility that he brings and the quality that he brings will potentially help us in stages from now until the end of the season.

“For what it’s costing, it’s a no-brainer to bring Stewy back in. He’s a fantastic lad and he brings quality to the training sessions as well as showing just how to be a top professional.

“He’s played at the top level for clubs like Liverpool and has represented England, so it’s good to have him back on the grass," he added.

“With his quality he can improve the levels in the squad.

“He’s such a good professional and is an advocate for the top pros by the way he works and by the way he lives his life.”

Tuesday night's game against old club Middlesbrough will come too soon for the veteran to feature, but Mowbray believes it won't take too long for the new Rovers number six to get up to speed fitness-wise.

“He hasn’t done any training for a long time, but it was great to have him training with the team today," the boss said.

“I imagine that he’ll be looking to get himself up to speed during the two week international break, and then he’ll be fit and ready to have an impact.

“It’s the quality that he brings and that experience of knowing when to hit long passes, when to keep hold of the ball, those sort of decisions.

“He’ll play a part for us and it’s great to have him back in the building because the lads really enjoy his company."


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