Tony Mowbray makes Blackburn Rovers admission in quest for Premier League football

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Tony Mowbray makes Blackburn Rovers admission in quest for Premier League football
© Provided by Football League World Championship – Queens Park Rangers v Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has admitted their side will need to ‘punch way above our weight’ if they want to achieve their aim of getting to the Premier League, speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph ahead of this afternoon’s fixture against Reading.

The second-tier side enjoyed a reasonably successful start to the campaign despite Adam Armstrong and Harvey Elliott’s departures, losing just one of their opening nine league fixtures of the 2021/22 campaign and with this, climbing into the play-off zone.

However, they have claimed one point from a possible 12 since then, dropping down to 13th and in real danger of sliding down the table further unless they can turn their fortunes around.

Much of their early success revolved around Chilean international Ben Brereton Diaz, who has benefitted richly from his time in South America and has scored an impressive 10 goals in 12 Championship games, already beating his total from last season and stepping up to be Mowbray’s main man in attack as it stands.

The Lancashire outfit also made a positive start to the 2020/21 campaign before tailing off, but their young squad will give them hope for the future if they can tie down some of their key assets to long-term deals at Ewood Park, something they have failed to do thus far.

But even with these players at their disposal, manager Mowbray believes they will need to push their limits to reintroduce themselves into the promotion mix and compete for a place in the top tier of English football.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, he said: “They invest at least £20m a year, putting their money into the football club. Is there ambition to get to the Premier League? By words, of course there always is an ambition to get to the Premier League.

“To do it, we have to punch way above our weight in this league I would suggest. When you have Premier League clubs getting relegated, maintaining their squads and their salary levels, the quality of the players coming down make this a tough league.

“Is there an ambition, yes – but it’s really tough to achieve that.”

The Verdict:

Without a doubt, Blackburn will need to punch above their weight if they want to get anywhere near the Premier League this term, and consistency will be the key to that.

Unfortunately, they haven’t been consistent enough in recent years to sustain a potential promotion push, but that’s no sin considering the fact they plied their trade in League One not so long ago and have a very young squad.

But the fact they will need to push their limits isn’t necessarily down to themselves, but the strength of other teams.

AFC Bournemouth still look strong despite failing to win promotion last term, Fulham spent a lot of money on the likes of Harry Wilson and Nathaniel Chalobah despite already having a strong squad, you can bet on Sheffield United to push for the top six under promotion-winning manager Slavisa Jokanovic and West Brom are another recently-relegated team who will always be dangerous under Valerien Ismael.

If Rovers can match those teams, they deserve to be promoted. But you just get the feeling they will remain in midtable without consistency.

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