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Paul Wheelock column: Bowyer taking his lessons from Foxes boss Pearson
YOU say you learn from the best – and the best right now in the Championship are undoubtedly Nigel Pearson’s record-breaking Leicester City side.
It is interesting, then, that Rovers boss Gary Bowyer has brought up the name of his Foxes counterpart in recent press conferences.
If Bowyer is looking for inspiration, then Pearson could well be his man.
When Pearson returned to the King Power Stadium in November 2011 he was tasked with the responsibility of getting rid of the club’s big earners – while at the same time building a new, younger smaller squad that was expected to get results.
Sound familiar? It certainly will be to Bowyer.
But what will be comforting to Bowyer is that Pearson has done exactly that, with his team’s club-record ninth straight success on Saturday extending their lead at the top of the table to 10 points.
Crucially, however, Pearson has been given time to get Leicester in the seemingly unassailable position they now find themselves in.
In his first season back at the Foxes, they finished ninth. In his second, sixth.
In the 27 months Pearson has been back at Leicester he has signed 26 players and let 65 leave.
Bowyer has been in the Rovers hotseat for a third of that time and he has already brought in 18 players and, incredibly, shown 22 the door and sent another 17 out on loan.
It is a huge turnaround and it is testament to Bowyer that, nine months into the job, he believes he is getting closer to the right blend of youth and experience.
Whether he gets the blend right in time to lead his side into the play-offs this season remains open to question.
When you look at the size of the task he has taken on, perhaps that is asking too much.
But the Championship being the wonderfully competitive and unpredictable division that it is, every team bar a few has something to play for.
And, going into their 30th match of the season, Rovers are very much in the shake up for a top-six spot.
Their next three games – Middlesbrough and Reading away and Brighton and Hove Albion at home – look like going a long way to deciding whether they remain part of it.
But whatever happens over the next three weeks, there is no question Bowyer has put Rovers back on the right track.
Pearson – the perfect example of what a manager can do when given the opportunity – would no doubt approve.
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