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The 30-year-old looking to establish himself at Bristol City following injury blow

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It has been an underwhelming start to the season for Bristol City.

The Robins were earmarked by some as dark horses for promotion but with just one point from two Championship fixtures, their 2019/20 campaign has not had the best of starts.

Following a summer of significant squad turnover, it is a somewhat new-look City side with some stalwarts of the 2018/19 campaign having departed the club–most notably Adam Webster, Lloyd Kelly, and Marlon Pack.

In their place, Lee Johnson has added 12 new players to his squad, including four in the last few days of the window, as he looks to extend the club’s run of four consecutive improved league finishes since they returned to the Championship in 2015.

An opening weekend defeat at the hands of Leeds United was followed by a 1-1 draw away at Birmingham City, which was not the desired result but will likely be satisfying to Johnson given some summer arrivals put in good performances.

Among those was Tommy Rowe, a versatile player who seems to have been brought in by the Robins to compete with Jay Dasilva at left-back.

Rowe performed really well on debut, patrolling the left flank as a wing-back and popping up to score a late equaliser for the Robins, and looks likely to be a mainstay in the side over the next five weeks.

Dasilva has picked up a leg injury that is understood to keep him out until mid-September, which will be a blow for Johnson but gives Rowe a chance to establish himself at the club and re-establish himself at this level.

The 30-year-old joined City from Doncaster this summer, after spending three years at the club and taking the captain’s armband for the majority of last season.

The move sealed a return to the Championship for the first time since he spent two seasons as a bit-part player in the second tier with Wolverhampton Wanderers between 2014 and 2016, making 18 appearances in total.

Since his failed move to Wolves, the versatile left-sided player has dropped down into the lower leagues and proven himself a quality player at that level.

Rowe scored 31 goals and provided 25 assists in 144 appearances for Doncaster and will now be looking to show he can provide that sort of productivity in the Championship.

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He is a player that suits City’s style, which often utilises overlapping full-backs or wing-backs well, and his ability to play multiple positions (left-back, left midfield, centre-midfield) gives Johnson the flexibility to switch between three, four and five at the back formations in-game.

Dasilva’s injury looks set to give Rowe an extended run in the City first-team and a chance to prove he should be considered as a first-choice option.

At 30, he is unlikely to get many more chances at Championship sides if he fails to prove himself under Johnson this season.

No player likes to see a teammate get injured but for Rowe, it could be just the break he needs to show he can be a useful option for Johnson and can thrive in the Championship.


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: The 30-year-old looking to establish himself at Bristol City following injury blow

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