Speaking exclusively to Football League World, Keith Gillespie has suggested that Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray will want to win promotion with the club next season.
The 2020/21 campaign has proven to be a disappointing one for Rovers, who, despite an encouraging summer transfer window and strong start to the season, have now won just three of their last 19 matches.
That run means that the club are guaranteed to finish in the bottom half of the Championship table, with their lowest points tally since winning promotion back to the second-tier in 2018.
Now, Gillespie, who was part of the Blackburn squad that won promotion to the Premier League in 2000/01, believes that Mowbray will want to take the club back to the promised land again in 2021/22.
Looking ahead to the new season for Rovers and Mowbray, Gillespie said: “You expect Blackburn one of these seasons to really challenge, I wouldn’t be surprised.
“I’m sure he’s disappointed in terms of how things have gone, they haven’t challenged to get promotion.”
Indeed, Gillespie believes that if Mowbray is not able to rectify that, then the Blackburn boss, who is about to enter the final 12 months of his contract at Ewood Park, could find his job under scrutiny, as he went onto add: “So I’m sure he’s thinking next season ‘right, I really need to do something here and make a real push, because if I don’t, then maybe my job is going to be in doubt’.”
It is now nine years since Blackburn last played Premier League football, a run that Gillespie appears to feel many at the club will believe is too long, as he continued: “Because Blackburn have obviously had Premier League success over the years, they’ve had a lot of Premier League football.
“They haven’t had that for quite a few years now and as I say they haven’t looked like getting close to it.
“So I’m sure next season, they’re obviously safe at the minute, they’re not getting in the play-offs so it’s one of them, they just want the season to end, and to look towards next season, strengthen the side and make a big challenge next season.”