Tony Mowbray’s title ambitions will be boosted by the return of two key players from long-term injury lay-off.
Firstly, Ben Gladwin has recently returned to training after a long lay off. Gladwin might only be a fringe players, but as tired legs and heavy pitches take their toll, the former Swindon man could be crucial. 25-year old Gladwin hasn’t played since November, but having been valued at around £1.5m when he joined QPR, he has plenty to offer the Blackburn boss as they head into the business end of the season.
Perhaps more importantly, Peter Whittingham is also on his way back. 33-year old Whittingham might be a veteran of the game, but the former Cardiff legend is a huge asset in League One. Operating on either flank or as a second striker, he brings versatility as well as experience. He has never played in the third tier before this season, he made his name either in the Championship or over six seasons in the Premier League, predominately with Aston Villa.
Neither player will be ready in time for the crucial visit of Wigan Athletic this weekend, but looking ahead from there Rovers have a relatively comfortable run-in. None of their final ten matches are against sides currently in the play-offs which, despite not being easy, will favour them somewhat as they look to not only earn promotion, but perhaps the league title.
Having lost one in ten, neither player’s absence hasn’t been felt severely which points to the strength of the Rovers squad. They’re currently on a run of one defeat in ten games and are hot0favourites to secure a return to the Championship at their first attempt.
Things couldn’t be much better on the pitch for Mowbray’s side. They have three players in double figures for the season, Bradley Dack, Charlie Mulgrew and Danny Graham. Now, with the return of Gladwin and particularly Whittingham, they’ve got additional strength for the crucial final stretch. Only a fool would bet against them retaining their second-tier status and with the run of games they have, a favourable result this coming weekend would perhaps make them likely to win the division in the process.
Blackburn fans….. What do you make of this news? Do you see Whittingham as crucial for the final stages of the season? Can Gladwin force his way into the manager’s reckoning? Let us know in the comments below.
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