IT IS no surprise to see Tony Mowbray trying to strengthen his midfield as he starts to shape his Blackburn Rovers squad, writes Simon Garner.
It was an area they needed to bring players in after the departures of Jason Lowe, Hope Akpan and Danny Guthrie.
I am sure Mowbray will try to sign players who he believes are better than League One, but also know the division and what’s needed to get out of it.
Midfield is an area that is key nowadays, particularly with how Mowbray, and a number of other managers, are looking to play.
But he will need to bring in players who can be flexible and adapt to the different conditions as in the middle of winter, you won’t be playing on pitches as good as Ewood Park every week.
Mowbray will want to do his business as quickly as possible and despite going down a division, Rovers are still an attractive proposition for players.
The club still has a good name, despite the troubles in the last few years, and has excellent facilities which does give them an advantage if players are talking to a number of clubs.
Peter Whittingham brings goals from midfield, something Rovers didn’t have enough of last season. To be successful, you need at least one player from midfield who can take the pressure off the strikers by chipping in with 10-15 goals a season.
When I was playing, managers used to give instructions to players in each position about how many goals they should target.
The midfielders would have a target, as would the back four and the strikers.
Craig Conway was the leading scorer aside from Danny Graham and Sam Gallagher last season with seven and goals from midfield is certainly an area where Rovers can improve.
It will be a tough division to get out of, and Rovers will need a good start.
You look at Sheffield United, they were favourites to get out of League One almost every year before finally doing it last season.
Every team next season will want to beat Blackburn Rovers, as former Premier League champions, and the opposing fans will be really up for it when they come up against them.
The fixtures are released tomorrow and as a player it was always something you would keep an eye on.
While I was at Blackburn, we were often in the same division as Burnley so that would always be the first game that you would look out for.
The fixtures coming out means the season is getting closer.
I wasn’t someone who liked pre-season training but when the fixtures were announced you knew that it wasn’t long until the real thing started.
The pre-season trip to Austria is a good idea, and if they are looking to bring in a lot of players, this will be the perfect time to try and bed them in to the squad. These trips away are good weather wise, but also because of the bond it can create between the players.
Source : LancashireTelegraph