Will Rovers better their 8th place finish?…
Blackburn enjoyed one of their most stable seasons for a good while both on and off the field last campaign and it resulted in a thoroughly decent season which saw them come close to stealing a play-off spot, missing out by just two points on the final day. They relied heavily on the goals of £8million striker Jordan Rhodes who notched 25 last campaign. He had another season free from injury which was crucial to the sides success. After the initial attempts by the Venky’s to move to a more stylish style of football, last season saw Rovers move back to the way they know taking full advantage of the signing of Rudy Gestede in the forward areas. Gary Bowyer who was appointed permanent manager last summer seemed to be allowed to manage last season which was the biggest reason behind what was a largely consistent campaign. Blackburn never dropped below 12th in the table after the beginning of October. Ultimately they just finished short of a play-off place but they have so far managed a very stable summer and that will be the key if they want to improve on last season’s finish.
Gary Bowyer has been just what Blackburn have needed in order to regain some stability at the club following the turbulent 2012-13 season where Rovers went through three different permanent managers. Initially taking the job on a temporary basis towards the end of the 12/13 season Bowyer steered Blackburn to safety following a late skirmish with relegation before taking the job permanently in the summer. He’s managed to take Blackburn back to what they were, tough to play against and hostile at home. A record of just five home defeats all season was the basis of their play-off ambition.
In: Chris Brown (Doncaster Rovers), Luke Varney (Leeds Utd)
Loans In: Alex Baptiste (Bolton Wanderes)
Out: Alan Judge (Brentford), Alex Marrow (Carlisle Utd)
Whilst Blackburn will have the advantage this campaign of having largely the same squad as last term it does mean that they haven’t added significantly to the squad. All three relegated teams look to be strong this season and they may well struggle to improve on what they did last season. A top half finish rather than a play-off charge is probably more realistic this time around.