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Blackburn Rovers have enjoyed another very solid season this year under Tony Mowbray in the Championship, with Rovers having managed to firmly establish themselves amongst the sides chasing a top six finish.
Mowbray’s side are currently sat in 10th place in the Championship table and are just three points adrift of the play-off places, in what could be an incredibly tight race for the final play-off spots, when and if the season does eventually resume following the suspension.
The fact that Blackburn are still in with a real fighting chance of finishing inside the play-off places is testament to the calming and methodical management of Mowbray, with the Rovers manager having endured setbacks throughout the campaign which could easily have derailed their season.
Those setbacks have come in the form of a series of injuries to some of Blackburn’s most influential performers, with both Bradley Dack and Lewis Holtby in particular key losses for Rovers, having both picked up serious injuries which have ended their respective campaigns.
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Despite those injuries, though, Blackburn have continued to be more than competitive in the Championship, and they have proven that in the likes of Danny Graham, Adam Armstrong, Stewart Downing, Sam Gallagher, Ben Brereton, Dominic Samuel and Joe Rothwell, they have enough attacking quality to help them sustain their form.
However, Blackburn’s play-off push has also been built on the solid foundations provided by their back four and goalkeeper, with Christian Walton making some crucial interventions between the sticks when called upon and also being very well protected on the whole by the likes of Derrick Williams and Tosin Adarabioyo.
That has seen Rovers concede just 45 goals in the league so far this campaign, and although they did ship three at Derby County last time out, they have been amongst the division’s most solid and difficult teams to break down this term.
The problem for Blackburn heading into next season is that Rovers will be faced with the challenge of rebuilding their defence, with Walton set to return to Brighton at the end of his loan spell leaving Mowbray needing to find a long-term first choice keeper.
That is not the only issue that will need addressing, with Adarabioyo also set to return to his parent club Manchester City, while Williams has also been linked with a move to MLS, and Charlie Mulgrew looks likely to depart having fallen far down the pecking order at Ewood Park.
So Blackburn are facing a critical summer transfer as they prepare for whatever division they find themselves in next campaign, with Mowbray needing the club’s backing to help replace the sizeable losses of both Walton and Adarabioyo – and you also feel that they will need to turn down any advances for Williams.
If Blackburn can manage to address those problems in their defence, then there is every chance that Mowbray will be able to keep the club heading in the right direction next season, as he continues to make progress at Ewood Park.