Busy time and new manager bounce showing for Blackburn Rovers ahead of Newcastle United test?
Fair to say, Blackburn Rovers are a club with a ‘few’ problems.
Serious ongoing underlying financial problems.
Blackburn Rovers also with long-term owners who aren’t exactly popular with the fanbase.
The serious financial problems coming to a head, certainly where their manager was concerned, when on the final day of the transfer window, the club’s young star player Adam Wharton was sold to Crystal Palace in a deal that could be worth up to £22m to Blackburn Rovers.
Jon Dahl Tomasson had been unhappy for a long time, the former Newcastle United striker making clear that what was happening at the club, wasn’t anything like it said in the ‘brochure’ when he took the job on. Promises of what would happen with budgets and transfer activity, not kept to.
Tomasson had offered to walk away in the summer such was his unhappiness with what was going on. However, he stuck it out until this month, the sale of Wharton and only minimal cheap and cheerful transfer business in terms of incoming in this latest window.
The Danish manager saying enough was enough and left on Friday, immediately replaced by John Eustace, who had been sacked from a similar basket case club earlier this season, he had Birmingham in the play-offs but they sacked him just because Wayne Rooney became available. That worked out well…
As for new Blackburn Rovers boss Eustace, he was walking into massive problems on the pitch as well as off it.
Backburn had swiftly gone from play-off hopes of promotion as a longshot, to very quickly relegation candidates, ahead of the weekend and Tomasson’s departure, Blackburn Rovers had only picked up two points in their last eight second tier matches.
The new Blackburn Rovers boss John Eustace watched Saturday’s game from the stands against Stoke City. The indication being that he didn’t have any direct involvement in the preparations for this match but regardless of that, Blackburn Rovers experienced new manager bounce, winning 3-1 at Ewood Park, a first league win in nine weeks.
How long that new manager bounce lasts remains to be seen, it has at least given them some breathing space, they would have been only four points above the drop if Stoke had won, instead Blackburn Rovers now 17th and seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Only 15 days now until Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle United in the FA Cup and fair to say that Rovers have a ‘slightly’ busier schedule…
Saturday 10 February – Blackburn Rovers 3 Stoke 1
Saturday 10 February – Nottingham Forest 2 Newcastle United 3
Tuesday 13 February – Birmingham v Blackburn Rovers
Saturday 17 February – Preston v Blackburn Rovers
Saturday 17 February – Newcastle United v Bournemouth
Tuesday 20 February – Cardiff v Blackburn Rovers
Saturday 24 February – Norwich v Blackburn Rovers
Saturday 24 February – Arsenal v Newcastle United
Tuesday 27 February – Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle United
Not really spoken about much but as well as playing against higher quality teams, clubs from the lower divisions also have the added pressures of so many more league games to play than those in the top tier, when / if competing in the later stages of the FA Cup.
Having lost their talented manager (in my opinion) and their best player, Blackburn Rovers were always going to be up against it when facing Newcastle United.
It is simply down now to our NUFC players making the gap in quality count and also with this added advantage of a far quieter schedule ahead of the fifth round clash, compared to Blackburn Rovers.
A place in the last eight beckons, which would put Newcastle only one game (a kind home draw please!) away from Wembley and a semi-final visit, hopefully ahead of a swift return for the final!
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