Talking Points: Are Rovers in a relegation battle?


Adrian Spencer discusses three talking points as Rovers’ loss to Bournemouth extends their dismal run to one win in fourteen matches…

Are Rovers in a relegation battle?

A discussion has long been going on about Mowbray’s future among Rovers fans. Some argue he won’t push us any further than a mid-table Championship finish while others point out his achievements at the club so far.

But, only one thing is for sure, and that is the fact that the club’s recent results suggest relegation form. Seven defeats from the last twelve games have pushed us from the top half of the table to looking over our shoulders at the teams battling relegation.

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It’s sad to see how so many talented and creative players are losing their spark, and it pains me to see the look in those lads’ faces every time we lose. They look speechless, like they can’t explain what’s going on.

More concerning though is Rovers’ position in the league table. Eleven points off the bottom three with six games to go will slowly feel like six cup finals to secure a spot in next season’s Championship. The players and manager must step up and prove themselves in what’s left of this season before it’s too late.  

The final six

With six matches left, and Rovers’ place in the league not yet confirmed, the way we approach these six matches needs to give Rovers a platform heading into next season.

Do we give youth a chance and possibly unearth the next John Buckley? I’d like to see it, but our league status comes first so we probably need to achieve definite safety first before bringing the youngsters into the fold.

The likes of Dan Pike, Connor McBride and Dan Butterworth deserve minutes, and hopefully we see them before the curtain comes down on this disappointing season.

The plan

Rovers’ dreadful run of form and Mowbray’s attitude must be something that the club’s owners are thinking about. Whether they have a plan to bring in a new manager or keep backing the current one is what’s making me anxious. 

The managerial situation should be a primary concern to the club’s board if it has any aspirations to preserve its Championship status and build on the positives there are with regards towards the future. But, I think many of us underestimate how complicated of a task this is.

Sacking Tony for someone else would imply bringing in a completely different perspective in regards to transfers and youth, and possibly losing what Mowbray has built for the club so far to implement a new system.

It’s a risk we should be willing to take. But at what cost? Rovers will inevitably lose some key players this summer, whether it’s loan players returning to their parent clubs, players sold or others released. But who to bring in? With what budget? What approach would a new manager take towards the market and the long-term stability of the club?

I agree change must occur, but recent history suggests sudden changes in the club’s system can damage it and make it worse than before. 

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