BLACKBURN Rovers head coach Tony Mowbray believes he can lead the club to Championship safety and wants that to be the start of an exciting new Ewood era.
Mowbray takes charge of Rovers for the first time tonight at Burton Albion (7.45pm) having being appointed as head coach on an 18 month deal on Wednesday following the departure of Owen Coyle.
The 53-year-old has 15 games to save Rovers from relegation to League One but is confident in his ability to turn things around.
“We’re second bottom of the Championship and we have to win some matches,” Mowbray said. “I have to respect that’s why I’m sitting here.
“My job is to win some games and get us away from the situation we’re in and then look to try and build a team that can try and compete at the other end of the table.
“I believe that if we can get the club going in the right direction then it will take some stopping.
“But the situation we find ourselves in reswe have to get ults.
"I’m not here to play pretty football and to do things other than find the best balance with these players and win some games.
“Football is in my blood and the Championship is a league I think I can work well in. I know I can build football teams and win games and I’m looking forward to that challenge.
“I truly believe I can help this club win games and, looking forward, build a style that the supporters will enjoy and want to watch.
“I try and create an environment at the football club where players want to come to work.
“I’m looking forward to seeing if we can create some positive vibes at the football club.”
Mowbray takes charge of Rovers during a busy spell of games, with today’s trip to Burton the first of seven Championship fixtures in 22 days.
The former Celtic and Middlesbrough boss has been out of work since resigning from Coventry City in September.
The Sky Blues job was one he took on in March 2015 with the club in a not too dissimilar position to Rovers.
Mowbray led them to League One safety in the final months of the 2014/15 season, before finishing the calendar year with his side top of the table.
And he’s hoping for a similar revival for Rovers.
He added: “My last club, Coventry City, have some problems and some issues and the full season I had there, there were no issues. The fanbase were solely behind the football club and it helped because the football club were winning and we were at the top end of the table.
“The team on the pitch galvanised the football club and as a coach I want to try and galvanise this football club.
“How do you do that? I focus on the team and on the players. I want a guy who comes to the games on a Saturday to go in the pub that night and say to his mates ‘Rovers were good today, they scored some great goals’.
“The only way to have a positive vibe at a football club is by winning matches.
“If we can get some results then let’s try and build the club, turn it round and put it back in the right direction.
“All the other stuff on the outside is there until we hopefully put the club back to where it belongs, and even then it might not (go away), I understand that some things run deep, but for me as a football guy I want to create a team that the fans are proud of and this is a team that people want to come and watch.”
And Mowbray believes Rovers have all the ingredients to succeed, adding: “This is a Premier League set-up. I believe that if we can get it going in the right direction then it will take some stopping and people will want to come to this football club, have a look around and go, ‘I want some of that.
“I hope that the people who support this club respect that the lads on the pitch are giving everything for this club and hopefully find some unity to move forward.
“We can dream and think that will happen really fast, but first we have to win some games.
With acknowledgement to the Lancashire Telegraph
But the new Rovers boss says an approach from Ewood Director of Football Operations Paul Senior was something he simply couldn’t turn down.
Mowbray admits it’s been something of a whirlwind start to life in the Rovers hotseat having presided over two training sessions before being thrust in to the dugout at Burton Albion tonight for his first game in charge.
The 53-year-old takes over a side second bottom of the Championship table but revealed he was surprised by the club’s standing given the quality on show at training.
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind,” said Mowbray of his first 48 hours in East Lancashire. “I took a call asking if it was something I would be interested in.
“Was I interested? Of course, this is Blackburn Rovers. I jumped in my car, and it wasn’t a very long conversation.
“When you’re a football manager out of work, I think you have to invest in yourself, what you can bring and what you do, and that’s what I am going to do; be good at my job and inspire this group of players to turn it round and head back to where we should be.
“The positive for me having watched the talent on the grass is that there’s some good footballers at this club and a good feel among the players.
“I just want to get my teeth in to it and get started.”
Mowbray is Rovers’ seventh permanent appointment since Venky’s took charge at Ewood in November 2010.
The new boss revealed that he hasn’t had any contact with the club’s Indian owners, having spoken only to Senior.
“No, none. Paul Senior is the only contact I’ve had,” Mowbray said when asked about any interaction with the club’s Indian owners.
“I’m fully aware of the six or seven managers before, that’s fine, someone has to be manager and has to grasp that nettle and turn it around.
“I’d like to think I’m a respectful guy. I understand a situation that is at this football club. I think they (Venky’s) have employed Paul to look after football matters, that’s okay.
“All I want to do is get on, get to know this group of players.
“There’s an urgency to try and get away from the bottom of the league in the next 15 games, there’s no guarantee we can do it, sometimes there’s no magic dust to turn players in to a winning formula but I will do my best to give them the best chance to win.
“We have quality in the group, I’m very happy with the camaraderie, given the situation that we find ourselves in.”
On his appointment at Ewood, Mowbray was given the title of head coach, rather than manager, but isn’t interested in job titles, just the job at hand.
“I haven’t given it a second thought, I don’t know what that means,” Mowbray said of being head coach.
“Everyone is calling me gaffer.
“I will respect everyone within the building, I won’t ask them to do anything I wouldn’t do, I will work tirelessly and will make decisions and try and improve the environment and culture and take the club forward.
“Head coach, manager, what does it mean? There’s no difference – I’m doing the same job I’ve always done.
“English football is moving in a direction of foreign football because of the influx of a lot of foreign people, be that owners or footballers.
“I don’t think it is a bad thing, I was one of the first (head coaches at West Brom) when Jeremy Peace brought in Dan Ashworth.
“It’s only relationships. When I have been a manager I have had a CEO or a chief executive so it is only the same blend.”
The former Middlesbrough and Celtic boss has been out of work since resigning from Coventry City in September and revealed he had turned down a number of opportunities in the past few months.
But Rovers’ call was not one he felt he could ignore.
He added: “Since I left Coventry I have probably had half a dozen opportunities to go and speak to football clubs.
“I have been doing dad things, but every now and then the phone rings. I had spoken to some clubs over the past few months that just didn’t feel right.
“When the phone rang the other day, I’m a football nut, and this is Blackburn Rovers.
“With respect to the other clubs that I’ve said no to, this is a club that you can’t turn down because of its history, it’s recent history, it’s had some amazing managers and players and here I am.
“I hope to make a positive impact at this football club.”
With Acknowledgement to the Lancashire Telegraph
ARE VENKY’S PUTTING ROVERS IN EXTINCTION AND CLOSING DOWN SHOP. WHIST PLAYING CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER.
Very Good article from Daily Mail,
Dire Venky's (PIC ABOVE) running Blackburn into the ground as owners are accused of 'allowing people to come in and play Championship Manager'
On a day when the potential of Blackburn Rovers was clearly evident, the owners of this once proud club will have been awash with regret while watching in India.
A very strong performance indeed, taking the lead against Manchester United via a well-crafted early goal. A stronger attendance, over 23,000, than Ewood Park has seen for a long time, too.
This tie provided respite from turmoil and a relegation battle — a show of what is possible and the sort of day their supporters should be enjoying regularly. 'I thought the fans were outstanding,' Owen Coyle said. 'They backed the players endlessly and they responded to that. Hopefully we can get that sort of atmosphere again.'
Sadly, they will not. This was for Manchester United's eyes only. For the silent Venky's - who have not attended a match since September 2014 - it should serve to indicate the horrible mess they have manufactured. These days are not coming back anytime soon.
They once boasted about trying to sign Ronaldinho. Now they can't even sign Giles Barnes, Owen Coyle failing to land the former Derby winger on a free last month. A sign of the tightening of belts by owners who pulled the funding plug 18 months ago.
Sportsmail has been told how Venky's ploughed £30million into Rovers every season after Premier League relegation in the blind hope they would again reach the promised land. But that all changed last season, with the budget slashed by 80 per cent and the club largely reliant on a £5m pay-out by the Football League to clubs in the Championship. That happened overnight and Rovers have floundered ever since.
Key players were sold without the knowledge of staff, with decisions made in India via a string of advisers.
'They've allowed people to come in and play Championship Manager,' one source said. That the former hapless global adviser Shebby Singh tried to sign Marouane Chamakh when he was still fighting for a spot at Arsenal is testament to that.
Suhail Pasha is the latest who, alongside 'football director' Paul Senior, refuses to communicate with fans.
Although, in fairness, he barely tells club employees either, with ex-managing director Derek Shaw left to sack Gary Bowyer after having no involvement in the decision-making process. Rovers were mid-table then.
Look at them now, the former Premier League champions staring at relegation down to the third tier. What are Venky's getting out of this? Crippling debt and an image damaged beyond repair.
With acknowledgement to the Daily Mail 20th February 2017.
TALKSPORT INVESTIGATES VENKY’S. ARE VENKY’S CLOSING ROVERS DOWN ?
Have come to the conclusion that the best way to defeat Venky's is to get down to Ewood Park in our thousands like we did on Sunday.
Venky's do not like that, it is the last thing they want to happen, a show of strength and solidarity.
Why, because that is what Talksport revealed on the Jim White (pic above) programme on Friday. An hour long discussion on all things Rovers.
I know many listened to it , some have knocked it. Why ?
We have complained long and hard at no National coverage to our plight, when we get it we knock it. Unbelievable.
However, the programme was excellent, with White promising to talk to one of the Rao family of owners. Good luck with that Jim.
White says he will persevere and have the interview this Friday'
'Not holding my breath'!
However, Talksports research has led them to rech the conclusion that Venky's want less and less fans attending games, to support their eventual application for a change of use of Ewood Park.
Scarey ! Venky's they say, are planning to wind up the club putting it into extinction , selling off all assets including the ground in a fire sale'.
That they say, is the only conclusion to explain their erratic and unreasonable behaviour.
Only the fans can save the club by showing Blackburn needs and supports it's community asset.
It was even said that Owen Coyle had been deliberately brought in to antagonise and irritate Rovers fans. Driving a further wedge between Venky's and fans.
Why how , asked Talksport panel of pundits did Coyle get the job otherwise.
A failed manager at his previous 3 clubs , terrible CV , not a hope of getting a Championship job and he gets the Rovers job ! Does not make sense.
But it does when you know the motive, Run the club into the ground, alienate the fans, wind it up , sell up. No fuss, done and dusted.
Venky's needed Coyle to fail . He has done. He has had no support no financial help . He has sunk as planned.
The very last thing the owners want is to avoid relegation. That would be the clincher in the grand scheme of things.
For the first time ever, Jreome Anderson/Kentaro SEM involvment was mentioned on national Radio. He had been complicit in Rovers demise, a smoking gun, the elephant in the room. Probably acted illegally . As a registered agent can not have a confict of interest .
In conjunction with Kean , allegedly , bled the nieve Venky's dry.
Now Venky's want out, the easy way. No messy sale to another owner. That will cost them dear. Extinguish the club, sell up lock stock and barrel, including Ewood.
The fans staying away are helping to achieve that dastardly plan.
That is why Coyle is here, that is why no investment in the team, and that is why Senior is here to impliment it.
We must not let it happen. We fell for the con once with Anderson.
We have to fill EWood theses next 7 home games to support the team and thwart Venky's putting our 143 year old club. one of the founder members of the football league into extinction.
This Friday's Talksport Jim White should be interesting.
Will he have spoken to Venky's as promised ?
In the meantime. LT get your finger out. !
THOUGHTS FROM THE TERRACES
Coyle isn't a good manager, that’s a given, I don't know one single fan who understands why he was taken on, or actually wanted him here in the first place but he's what we ended up with for whatever unfathomable reason.
Because of the state of the club and the joke of a squad he inherited some of us decided to give him a chance, many more didn't.
A more football astute Board or even owners should have realised early on that the negativity surrounding the club would be inflamed by his appointment, but that realisation didn't occur, so they blundered on unknowingly and unthinkingly as usual, and that leads us to where we are now.
Distant (in more ways than one) owners, a Board of Directors that has little or no understanding of what it's like to be a real football fan, a manager the majority of fans hate with a vengeance and a terminally divided fan base.
None of the above have the ability to communicate with each other in a civilised manner, those that attempt to do so are shouted down and abused at every turn.
And that isn't only the clubs fault, whether you like it or not some fans have contributed significantly to that current state of affairs and anyone who believes otherwise totally lacks any understanding of the situation whatsoever.
How many of you guys, so busy running on your own personal hamster wheel that keeps all your frustration and bile charged to the full have noticed that there is an upcoming AGM of The Rovers Trust in which;
"Three of the co-founders of the Rovers Trust – chairman Wayne Wild, treasurer Dan Grabko and communications officer Neil Thornton – have announced they will not be standing for re-election and their roles will become vacant."
I received the e mail on the 10th February and was waiting to see if anyone else picked up on it, even the LT have failed to do so.
Reading between the lines these guys are as cheesed off as the rest of us but have basically become fed up of bashing their heads against a brick wall from both sides.
They started with all the best intentions and they deserve real credit for that, but they have been unable to do the one key thing that could have helped, get the fans working together as a single entity.
So it's a chance for someone else to have a go?
With acknowledgement to Beetlejuice. Lancashire Telegraph, Rovers Forum.