GARY Bowyer has urged all of his Blackburn Rovers squad to emulate the attitude of Chris Taylor – with competition for places again on the agenda next season.
Bowyer has cut down the size of his squad considerably since taking the helm at Ewood Park, as Rovers bid to fall in line with the incoming Financial Fair Play regulations.
Rovers had a staggering 61 players on their books at the end of last season but have since reduced their wage bill by moving on several high earners and trimming their squad to more manageable numbers.
Bowyer has put six more players – Leon Best, DJ Campbell, Dickson Etuhu, David Goodwillie, Alex Marrow and Jordan Slew - on the transfer list as he bids to cut his squad even further over the close season.
But the boss still wants competition for each spot in his starting line-up – wanting to bring in a right back, a centre back and a striker before the start of the new season.
He knows that means having players on his books who may grow disappointed at not featuring regularly, but Bowyer wants any such players to respond in the same way as midfield man Taylor.
The 27-year-old started only 14 league games after joining the club on a Bosman free transfer from Millwall last summer but impressed the manager with his dedication.
“You only have to look at someone like Chris Taylor who has not played enough and I understand that,” Bowyer said.
“He’s desperate to play but his attitude every day in training and on matchdays epitomises what we are trying to do 100 per cent.
“It’s not just been him, there have been several others who have been out of the team.
“But Chris really sticks in my mind because it shows the progress that we’ve made.
“He’s a benchmark for me.”