Blackburn Rovers have enjoyed a relatively strong start to the Championship season.
Saturday’s goalless draw at Barnsley means Rovers have taken 13 points from their eight league games so far, putting them sixth in the current second-tier standings.
Considering the low expectations there were heading into this campaign, following a poor second half of last season, and a largely frustrating summer transfer window, manager Tony Mowbray ought to be reasonably pleased with how things have gone for his side so far.
However, there are still likely to be some issues that Mowbray will be keen to solve at Ewood Park sooner rather than later.
Here, we’ve taken a look at two conundrums the Blackburn boss is facing at this moment in time.
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Expiring player contracts
With no fewer than 11 senior players leaving Blackburn at the end of last season, Rovers have a significantly smaller squad this season, than they did last time around.
Now it seems as though Rovers could find themselves in a similar situation this season. As things stand, eight senior players – including Ben Brereton, Ryan Nyambe, Darragh Lenihan, Joe Rothwell and Thomas Kaminski – are all out of contract next summer, although the club do have an option to extend Kaminski’s deal by a further 12 months.
Add to that the fact that there are four loan players in Blackburn’s squad, and you feel that if new contracts are not secured sooner rather than later, then the club will need a big squad rebuild next summer, which may not be easy judging by how things went in the window just gone.
While the start to the season has been an encouraging one for Blackburn and Mowbray in getting them to sixth in the Championship, it does mean another question that has been levelled at the club in recent years is about to rear its head again.
Since their return to the second-tier in 2018, Rovers have a dismal record in games they have started in the top-ten of the table, something which has proved hugely damaging to their hopes of claiming a play-off spot. If that proves to be the case again in the coming weeks, the issue of whether Mowbray is the right man to take the club back towards the Premier League will no doubt be visited once more.
Success at home to Cardiff on Saturday could be crucial therefore, and it will be interesting to see if Mowbray’s approach of playing down talk about a push for the play-offs works with the young side he has at his disposal.