With our thanks to Daniel from roverschat.com!
First of all, how did you get into supporting Blackburn?
I got into supporting Rovers, basically, through going to games with family. Back then, we was a secure Premier League side, competing with sides like (especially in home games) Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. They were the glory days when Ewood Park was full and there was an atmosphere. I’d love for them glory days to come back, but we all know that’s a while away.
What do you make of your season so far?
I’m very happy with our season so far. We did have a shaky start, losing our first two games against sides who are now struggling – Southend and Doncaster. However, since then (bar the odd slip-up), we’ve been great. We’re in the midst of a 18 game unbeaten run in League One, and confidence is very high. The team spirit is something us Rovers fans haven’t seen for a long,long time. They play for each other, the badge and the club. I think we’ll go up automatically. With all respect to Shrewsbury, I believe we’ll have too much for them come the end of the season, with Wigan Athletic taking the title.
What did you make of the game at Ewood Park earlier in the season where Argyle nabbed a 1-1 draw?
If I had to sum it up in one word, it’d be frustrating. With all respect to Argyle, we dominated the game and I’m sure your fans were delighted to go home with a point. Your young ‘keeper who came on in the second half, Michael Cooper, was outstanding and none of us could tell it was his first game for the club. He looks a great prospect. The chance that Ben Gladwin missed at the end, from 4 yards out when I think it was Aaron Taylor-Sinclair who blocked it, summed up that game perfectly. A frustrating one!
How has Tony Mowbray done since taking over almost a year ago?
He’s been nothing short of a revelation since coming in. Under Coyle, the fans were divided. There were arguments in the stands and there was a horrible feeling around the club. Mowbray has changed this. He’s somehow convinced the owners to invest in the playing squad, using his experience to bring in players for low fees who’ll go on to help this club in the future as well as now. The fans are behind him, the players are behind him and it seems the owners are behind him – probably the first manager under Venky’s to have this. He’s loved by all Blue and White fans across the world, and you can see why!”
There have been a great many protests from Rovers fans against your owners in recent years. What’s the current situation there?
Recently, because of the great form and feeling around Ewood Park, there’s been no protests at Ewood. As previously mentioned, the fans have someone they like at the helm, and he’s been a huge reason in why protests have calmed down. I’m sure that if we started to lose games, this feeling would change, so let’s make the most of the positivity now!”
Blackburn’s form is on fire at the moment? What do you put this down to compared to your slow start to the season?
The squad have finally gelled and have a real togetherness. This has allowed to create the feeling that no one can beat us, and this has paid off. 18 games unbeaten and we look unstoppable at the moment. Another factor has been the new January signings. They’ve gave us a bit of a lift and strengthened in the places we seemed to struggle with.”
Who should Argyle keep an eye out for from the Blackburn ranks?
If I had to pick one player, it’d have to be Bradley Dack. He joined for 750k in the summer, and after struggling at the beginning, he’s finally shown why he’s so highly rated. He’s our joint top scorer on 12 goals, and could be higher if he was a bit luckier. He constantly creates chances, driving forward with the ball and using his low centre of gravity to shield the ball. If you don’t learn how to stop him before Saturday, you’ll certainly struggle! I could’ve named quite a few players for this weekend. New additions Jack Payne and Adam Armstrong have pace and will cause problems. Richie Smallwood in the centre of midfield is a tough tackling man who’s got the title of “The King of Ewood” so you can see his impact. Amari’i Bell will get forward well from full-back so the entire team is who you need to watch.”
What do you view as your side’s strongest areas?
Our main strong spot is building up attacks. With the pace and quality of Dack, Payne and Armstrong, we’ll get forward well and hopefully put your defenders on the back foot. Our passing has also improved massively over the season and our short, quick passing will cause problems.
What do you make of Argyle’s chances for the rest of this League One season?
Given your recent resurgence, I honestly believe you’ve got a really good chance of the playoffs. However, it is a very competitive league and there’ll be a lot of sides who’ll be up for that 6th place. I’m just not sure if you’ll make it, sorry Argyle fans.
If you had to sign one Argyle player to improve your side, who would it be?
100% Graham Carey. He’s one of the best players I’ve seen against Rovers this season, and scored probably the best goal that we’ve conceded as well. Many Rovers fans wanted us to move for him in the window, but after signing Jack Payne it was never going to happen. I’d love it if he’d come to us in the summer. We can dream.
Finally, a score prediction for the game?
I’m normally reserved when making predictions and this one is a tough one. If this was a few months ago, I’d have gone for a Rovers win easily. I’ll still go for one now, but it’ll be a close game, and a tough one. Plymouth Argyle 1-2 Rovers. Carey for Plymouth, Graham and Dack for Rovers.