Kevin Gallacher column: Now is time for fine-tuning Rovers' starting XI

Kevin Gallacher: Now is time for fine-tuning Rovers' starting XI

Kevin Gallacher: Now is time for fine-tuning Rovers' starting XI

First published in Sport
Last updated

GARY Bowyer will be looking to pick his strongest XI in the final two pre-season games this week.

It’s been shaping up pretty nicely for Rovers so far.

During pre-season I’ve been looking for results and the fans are as well but the results don’t matter, it’s about giving players game time and getting their match fitness up. The players just want to stay injury free.

Now in the final couple of games it’s time for Gary to be looking to pick his first team and give them some time together on the pitch in preparation for the start of the league season.

Gary’s been looking to stamp his authority on this squad over the last eight or nine months, and that has continued this pre-season.

I’m sure he would be looking to get rid of another three of four to get them off the wage bill, but I think he’s got a squad that he is happy to work with now.

They finished last season in great form, they went 12 unbeaten but it still wasn’t enough to get in the play-offs.

There were one or two little mistakes that cost them and they will want to put that right this season and get close to the play-offs.

The Championship is such a hard league though, the teams that have come down will be there or there abouts.

You want to finish in those top six places but there are at least eight or nine teams with the same aim. You need to be going on runs at the right time and winning games at the right time to be challenging.

Rovers might not be too keen to see Rudy Gestede travel to Malawi to join up with his international team mates from Benin just before the season, but you have to let him go.

It’s a great honour to play international football, it enhances you as a player. It can only improve your game, he will be playing a different style of football and learning new things.

The most important thing is that he doesn’t come back injured, that is what Rovers will be worrying about Hopefully he will come back refreshed from being around his Benin team mates. He is going to be an important player this season.

Comments (7)

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4:14pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Harwoodstblue says...

Luckily, up to now we haven't got a raft of injuries going into the season. Let's hope it stays that way for a change. We need to get off to a good start but we'll need our share of luck on the injury front. It must be our turn.
Luckily, up to now we haven't got a raft of injuries going into the season. Let's hope it stays that way for a change. We need to get off to a good start but we'll need our share of luck on the injury front. It must be our turn. Harwoodstblue
  • Score: 6

4:28pm Wed 30 Jul 14

greenscreener says...

Harwoodstblue wrote:
Luckily, up to now we haven't got a raft of injuries going into the season. Let's hope it stays that way for a change. We need to get off to a good start but we'll need our share of luck on the injury front. It must be our turn.
Let's hope you are feeling so positive after the run out against Stoke, not sure they are the team I would have selected to play before the seasons opener.
[quote][p][bold]Harwoodstblue[/bold] wrote: Luckily, up to now we haven't got a raft of injuries going into the season. Let's hope it stays that way for a change. We need to get off to a good start but we'll need our share of luck on the injury front. It must be our turn.[/p][/quote]Let's hope you are feeling so positive after the run out against Stoke, not sure they are the team I would have selected to play before the seasons opener. greenscreener
  • Score: 5

6:00pm Wed 30 Jul 14

ZomZom@thePark says...

On the contrary, Stoke City are still a tough animal and will provide a good stern test for you before Cardiff stroll into town.
I think your boys will benefit greatly from it and it could be the perfect preparation.
On the contrary, Stoke City are still a tough animal and will provide a good stern test for you before Cardiff stroll into town. I think your boys will benefit greatly from it and it could be the perfect preparation. ZomZom@thePark
  • Score: 4

8:19pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Angry From Accrington says...

ZomZom@thePark wrote:
On the contrary, Stoke City are still a tough animal and will provide a good stern test for you before Cardiff stroll into town.
I think your boys will benefit greatly from it and it could be the perfect preparation.
I'm afraid I disagree. There is only one way to play Stoke and that is with 100% physical commitment. We either commit to the game and risk injury or treat it adamant up and risk humiliation. On the other hand, if we get a result just watch our promotion odds plummet!
[quote][p][bold]ZomZom@thePark[/bold] wrote: On the contrary, Stoke City are still a tough animal and will provide a good stern test for you before Cardiff stroll into town. I think your boys will benefit greatly from it and it could be the perfect preparation.[/p][/quote]I'm afraid I disagree. There is only one way to play Stoke and that is with 100% physical commitment. We either commit to the game and risk injury or treat it adamant up and risk humiliation. On the other hand, if we get a result just watch our promotion odds plummet! Angry From Accrington
  • Score: 2

9:16pm Wed 30 Jul 14

dallydally says...

And its 0 - 0 at Bury close to the end of the game! Friendlies? What a waste other than fitness
And its 0 - 0 at Bury close to the end of the game! Friendlies? What a waste other than fitness dallydally
  • Score: 0

7:44am Thu 31 Jul 14

Fartonadingleshead says...

Angry From Accrington wrote:
ZomZom@thePark wrote:
On the contrary, Stoke City are still a tough animal and will provide a good stern test for you before Cardiff stroll into town.
I think your boys will benefit greatly from it and it could be the perfect preparation.
I'm afraid I disagree. There is only one way to play Stoke and that is with 100% physical commitment. We either commit to the game and risk injury or treat it adamant up and risk humiliation. On the other hand, if we get a result just watch our promotion odds plummet!
I would have to disagree with your disagreement. Stoke are a different animal under Hughes. Like Hughes/ Alledice for Rovers. I think Stoke will come to play football and be a fit side. A good test fitness wise for Rovers.
Although results do not matter I would put this down as a tight game ending in a draw or a win for either side by just 1 goal.
[quote][p][bold]Angry From Accrington[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ZomZom@thePark[/bold] wrote: On the contrary, Stoke City are still a tough animal and will provide a good stern test for you before Cardiff stroll into town. I think your boys will benefit greatly from it and it could be the perfect preparation.[/p][/quote]I'm afraid I disagree. There is only one way to play Stoke and that is with 100% physical commitment. We either commit to the game and risk injury or treat it adamant up and risk humiliation. On the other hand, if we get a result just watch our promotion odds plummet![/p][/quote]I would have to disagree with your disagreement. Stoke are a different animal under Hughes. Like Hughes/ Alledice for Rovers. I think Stoke will come to play football and be a fit side. A good test fitness wise for Rovers. Although results do not matter I would put this down as a tight game ending in a draw or a win for either side by just 1 goal. Fartonadingleshead
  • Score: 1

8:07am Thu 31 Jul 14

greenscreener says...

Fartonadingleshead wrote:
Angry From Accrington wrote:
ZomZom@thePark wrote:
On the contrary, Stoke City are still a tough animal and will provide a good stern test for you before Cardiff stroll into town.
I think your boys will benefit greatly from it and it could be the perfect preparation.
I'm afraid I disagree. There is only one way to play Stoke and that is with 100% physical commitment. We either commit to the game and risk injury or treat it adamant up and risk humiliation. On the other hand, if we get a result just watch our promotion odds plummet!
I would have to disagree with your disagreement. Stoke are a different animal under Hughes. Like Hughes/ Alledice for Rovers. I think Stoke will come to play football and be a fit side. A good test fitness wise for Rovers.
Although results do not matter I would put this down as a tight game ending in a draw or a win for either side by just 1 goal.
Under Hughes Blackburn were fit and competitive, Stoke will be the same, I just wonder if players like Shawcross, Huth and Palacios have ever understood the concept of a friendly game.
[quote][p][bold]Fartonadingleshead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Angry From Accrington[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ZomZom@thePark[/bold] wrote: On the contrary, Stoke City are still a tough animal and will provide a good stern test for you before Cardiff stroll into town. I think your boys will benefit greatly from it and it could be the perfect preparation.[/p][/quote]I'm afraid I disagree. There is only one way to play Stoke and that is with 100% physical commitment. We either commit to the game and risk injury or treat it adamant up and risk humiliation. On the other hand, if we get a result just watch our promotion odds plummet![/p][/quote]I would have to disagree with your disagreement. Stoke are a different animal under Hughes. Like Hughes/ Alledice for Rovers. I think Stoke will come to play football and be a fit side. A good test fitness wise for Rovers. Although results do not matter I would put this down as a tight game ending in a draw or a win for either side by just 1 goal.[/p][/quote]Under Hughes Blackburn were fit and competitive, Stoke will be the same, I just wonder if players like Shawcross, Huth and Palacios have ever understood the concept of a friendly game. greenscreener
  • Score: 1

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