FROM taking his three boys to school, to enjoying a coffee with Gary Pallister, to being named the new Blackburn Rovers head coach, it was quite a Wednesday morning for Tony Mowbray.

But the new Rovers boss says an approach from Ewood Director of Football Operations Paul Senior was something he simply couldn’t turn down.


Mowbray admits it’s been something of a whirlwind start to life in the Rovers hotseat having presided over two training sessions before being thrust in to the dugout at Burton Albion tonight for his first game in charge.

The 53-year-old takes over a side second bottom of the Championship table but revealed he was surprised by the club’s standing given the quality on show at training.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind,” said Mowbray of his first 48 hours in East Lancashire. “I took a call asking if it was something I would be interested in.

“Was I interested? Of course, this is Blackburn Rovers. I jumped in my car, and it wasn’t a very long conversation.

“When you’re a football manager out of work, I think you have to invest in yourself, what you can bring and what you do, and that’s what I am going to do; be good at my job and inspire this group of players to turn it round and head back to where we should be.

“The positive for me having watched the talent on the grass is that there’s some good footballers at this club and a good feel among the players.

“I just want to get my teeth in to it and get started.”

Mowbray is Rovers’ seventh permanent appointment since Venky’s took charge at Ewood in November 2010.

The new boss revealed that he hasn’t had any contact with the club’s Indian owners, having spoken only to Senior.

“No, none. Paul Senior is the only contact I’ve had,” Mowbray said when asked about any interaction with the club’s Indian owners.

“I’m fully aware of the six or seven managers before, that’s fine, someone has to be manager and has to grasp that nettle and turn it around.

“I’d like to think I’m a respectful guy. I understand a situation that is at this football club. I think they (Venky’s) have employed Paul to look after football matters, that’s okay.

“All I want to do is get on, get to know this group of players.

“There’s an urgency to try and get away from the bottom of the league in the next 15 games, there’s no guarantee we can do it, sometimes there’s no magic dust to turn players in to a winning formula but I will do my best to give them the best chance to win.

“We have quality in the group, I’m very happy with the camaraderie, given the situation that we find ourselves in.”

On his appointment at Ewood, Mowbray was given the title of head coach, rather than manager, but isn’t interested in job titles, just the job at hand.

“I haven’t given it a second thought, I don’t know what that means,” Mowbray said of being head coach.

“Everyone is calling me gaffer.

“I will respect everyone within the building, I won’t ask them to do anything I wouldn’t do, I will work tirelessly and will make decisions and try and improve the environment and culture and take the club forward.

“Head coach, manager, what does it mean? There’s no difference – I’m doing the same job I’ve always done.

“English football is moving in a direction of foreign football because of the influx of a lot of foreign people, be that owners or footballers.

“I don’t think it is a bad thing, I was one of the first (head coaches at West Brom) when Jeremy Peace brought in Dan Ashworth.

“It’s only relationships. When I have been a manager I have had a CEO or a chief executive so it is only the same blend.”

The former Middlesbrough and Celtic boss has been out of work since resigning from Coventry City in September and revealed he had turned down a number of opportunities in the past few months.

But Rovers’ call was not one he felt he could ignore.

He added: “Since I left Coventry I have probably had half a dozen opportunities to go and speak to football clubs.

“I have been doing dad things, but every now and then the phone rings. I had spoken to some clubs over the past few months that just didn’t feel right.

“When the phone rang the other day, I’m a football nut, and this is Blackburn Rovers.

“With respect to the other clubs that I’ve said no to, this is a club that you can’t turn down because of its history, it’s recent history, it’s had some amazing managers and players and here I am.

“I hope to make a positive impact at this football club.”