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Blackburn Rovers boss prepared for the mad scramble
GARY Bowyer says Blackburn Rovers may have to join a ‘mad scramble’ if they are to add to their squad before Monday’s transfer deadline.
The manager said he has already drawn up a list of loan targets as he bids to strengthen his squad before the clock hits 11pm on Monday.
The club remain in the market for a striker ‘if the right one comes along’, but one striker that Bowyer does not expect to be on the move is Jordan Rhodes – with the Rovers boss calling the striker’s finishes against Barnsley ‘phenomenal’.
Rovers could also re-enter the market if players become available when the loan window reopens a week after the transfer window shuts.
“Yes (it is going to be a mad scramble), said Bowyer.
“I think the window is shut and then it’s a week’s rest and the mad scramble will start again for the loans.
“We’ve just got to make sure that if the right one comes along and we feel it is of benefit to the football club then we are in the market for them.”
Bowyer was an interested spectator at the Store First Stadium on Wednesday as Cardiff knocked Accrington Stanley out of the League Cup.
Cardiff striker Joe Mason is likely to be made available on loan soon – possibly in the loan window rather than before Monday.
The 22-year-old played the last 15 minutes of the game, but Bowyer refused to be drawn on specific targets.
He also said he was keen to learn from Cardiff, who won the Championship title last season.
“If the right (striker) comes along and we feel we can add quality to the squad then I would have to go and speak to the owners,” added Bowyer.
“But we’ve got Jordan up and running, DJ Campbell’s not far away now and we’ve got Leon Best. But if we can get the right one we will be interested.
“There are lots of players that are available and lots of games we’ve been to this week, but if somebody sees you there they automatically link it.
“We take games in and we just see how people do.
“It was also good to watch Cardiff, I enjoy watching Cardiff play and I like Malky’s teams so it was an opportunity to see how they perform, because there are lots of lessons to be learned from them because they won the league last year.”
Bowyer said he understood why teams were interested in Jordan Rhodes.
Wigan have been monitoring the situation but have also been looking at other targets, with Rovers saying they have no intention of selling to another Championship club.
Bowyer again stressed he was under no pressure to sell last season’s 28-goal top-scorer and praised the Scotland international for not letting the speculation affect him.
“He’s a proven goal scorer and a top quality player and if I was in the Premier League and I was a manager of a football club we’d be doing exactly the same,” he added.
“I’ve said all along that I’ve been told we don’t have to sell Jordan Rhodes.
“There has always been speculation but he’s not let that affect him and you saw the quality of his finishes last week.
“The lob is an outstanding lob but the header is a phenomenal header. It was a great ball in but the technique and control he had over the header when under pressure was first class.”
One new addition at Ewood Park who is likely to feature in tomorrow’s derby at home to Bolton is Ben Marshall.
Bowyer said the club had had to act quickly to secure the signing of the winger on a four-year deal.
He said: “We were aware he was available and as soon as we knew that we acted fast because there were several other clubs who were interested in him.
“He’s a talented footballer and we’re delighted to have him on board. He is going to prove how good a player he is to the supporters.
“We knew other clubs were interested, one or two things take time with a bit of haggling here and there but we are just delighted it is all done and dusted now and we look forward to putting him in the squad come Saturday.”
Asked about the future of Leon Best, who had been told he would be allowed to leave the club if Rovers received the right offer, Bowyer said: “Leon’s trained with us this morning. He was in the squad last week and has trained all week.”
It has been a first transfer window for Bowyer, who has had to reorganise a huge squad.
But he said: “I’ve enjoyed it. You get the opportunity to add players that you think can benefit the football club.
“At times it can be frustrating because you think you’ve got there and you’ve got one over the line and somebody else comes and either nicks him or puts a better offer in.
“But it’s a good challenge and it’s something I’ve enjoyed, but I have to admit I can’t wait for the thing to close.
“I’m looking forward to switching the phone off. I think my wife will be delighted that it can get switched off for a bit.
“You do get a bit tired of having to answer the same questions about your own players that have been linked but it’s part and parcel of the job.”
Corry Evans and Matt Kilgallon are in contention to return from injury tomorrow, while Lee Williamson is back in training.
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