GARY Bowyer has told Michael Appleton ‘you are inheriting a great bunch of players’ as Blackburn Rovers’ new boss starts work today.
The former Blackpool and Portsmouth boss will meet his new squad at Brockhall this morning, after being appointed on Friday evening, with the club’s owners desperate for him to land them an instant Premier League return. Caretaker management duo Bowyer and Terry McPhillips signed off from their unbeaten tenure with a battling 1-1 draw at Wolves on Friday night – leaving Rovers 13th in the table.
And as the club prepare for yet another new regime, with Appleton becoming the club's fifth manager this season, Bowyer believes the new man will be delighted with the squad at his disposal.
Bowyer – who is expecting to return to managing Rovers' development squad at home to Everton at Leigh Sports Village tonight – said: “They are a great bunch of players, they have a mix of everything.
“Battling qualities, skill, goals in the team, I think Michael is inheriting a very good group of players with a good spirit, good character and a fantastic work ethic at the minute. They have to continue that.
“Obviously there has been a bit of adversity with what has gone off and the players have stepped up to the mark. They have taken responsibility themselves.
“They realised the level of performances was not up to the level they can produce and over the past four games they have produced that and they have to maintain that now, We said that in there.”
Jordan Rhodes' first half penalty looked as though Bowyer and McPhillips were set to end their temporary tenure with a 100 per cent winning record – until Roger Johnson's late header earned Wolves a deserved point.
But, despite an unbeaten four match spell, Bowyer was quick to heap all the praise onto the players.
Bowyer said: “I think it is a good point for the team. I have said all along it has not been for myself, it is about the players and you have seen the battling qualities they have got on Friday night. I think that will be a big point for us come the end of the season.
“I would not say we were really comfortable, we were under a lot of pressure from Wolves who pumped the ball into the box but I thought we defended admirably. We cant fault the lads for their effort or commitment.
“If we do look more organised then that has been down to the players. They have contributed massively on Friday night and over the last four games. They are the ones who deserve all the praise.
“No doubt someone will tell me we should have got four wins but in all seriousness we had to look after the team until given further notice and that is what we have done. The lads performances have been brilliant.
“Michael brings with him a wealth of experience, he has worked with some good managers and we have to kick on. This point can be a massive point.”