Championship outfit Blackburn Rovers didn’t plan for Tony Mowbray’s departure at the end of this season despite their decision to avoid offering him a new contract, according to a Twitter update from journalist Alan Nixon.
The 58-year-old has confirmed he will be exiting Ewood Park at the end of the season after spending over five years in charge of the second-tier side, transforming them from a League One side to a club that looked set to be in the play-offs before their recent decline.
Despite their progress this term, managing to thrive even without former top scorer Adam Armstrong and Liverpool prospect Harvey Elliott, a contract extension wasn’t agreed with Mowbray who saw his side play their final home game under his stewardship last weekend.
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A number of their key players are also out of contract at the end of this term including Darragh Lenihan, Ryan Nyambe and Joe Rothwell, all of whom have played an integral part in Rovers’ rise this term.
Because of their potential departures, some would argue having Mowbray in charge is more important than ever to provide stability in the Lancashire – but that chance to retain him has now come and gone.
Even though this decision has been taken not to extend the 58-year-old’s terms, the club’s board wasn’t planning for this outcome according to journalist Nixon, who also revealed that they were still in the early stages of the recruitment process.
Mowbray’s departure comes as a shock to may considering the progress he has made not just this term, but also throughout his tenure at Ewood Park, proving to be a calming influence and giving younger players a chance to thrive.
Whether he would have been able to guide them back to the top tier at some point in the future remains to be seen after this term’s disappointment – but he was a stable figure at Ewood Park and that has been very important with the club’s owners not being seen at the stadium regularly.
This next appointment could be crucial and they may want to follow a similar path to local rivals Preston North End in terms of recruiting a young manager who has a lot to prove at a higher level.
Bearing this in mind, Gareth Ainsworth would be a good candidate but they may have to wait a considerable amount of time to lure him away from Wycombe Wanderers with the Chairboys set to embark on a play-off campaign.
Having promotion-winning experience under his belt, Ainsworth also has local connections having been born in Blackburn and this is why this potential appointment could be a match made in heaven.