TOMMIE Hoban is hoping having a former central defender as head coach can prove beneficial to his development at Blackburn Rovers.

The 23-year-old views having a manager who had a playing career in the same position as his as a positive and is looking to learn from Mowbray who made more than 550 career appearances for Middlesbrough, Celtic and Ipswich.

“I’m still relatively young and have a lot to improve on and can still develop as a player and having a former centre back as a manager can only help with that,” Hoban said.

“In the past I have had defenders that are managers and coaches and it is a positive.

“They have played the game for years, have a lot of experience and they can pass that on to us.

“They might be more critical, not in a bad way, of us because they have been a defender themselves and often they will watch a game and be watching the defenders.

“It’s definitely a good thing and I’m certainly looking to learn off him.”

Hoban joined Rovers on a season-long loan from Watford in August, but has missed much of the campaign after dislocating his shoulder in October.

He had impressed in his run of 10 consecutive starts before the injury, and caught the eye in his two games this month at Norwich and Fulham following his near five-month absence.

Injuries have restricted Hoban’s career appearances to just 70, but he still harbours ambitions of breaking in to the Watford side next season.

On his future, he said: “I still have at least two years left on my current deal at Watford, I don’t know exactly what the plan is for next year, I’ve not spoken to Watford.

“As the season comes to an end I will try and have a conversation with them about what their plans are for me next season.

“Blackburn has been brilliant, I am enjoying my time here and I just want to try and finish the season as strong as I can and then go back to Watford and look to have a good pre-season.

“My goal is still to play for Watford in the Premier League, that’s what I want to do and if I can do that then great.

“Hopefully I will be given that opportunity but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens in the summer.”

Hoban played 90 minutes for Rovers Under-23s less than a week after Mowbray took charge at Ewood Park, and was in the squad as an unused substitute for the games against Wigan and Cardiff.

His first start since October came when deputising for Charlie Mulgrew in the 2-2 draws with Norwich and Fulham, although he was on the bench against Preston.

But Mowbray has been impressed with Hoban.

He said: “He’s a fantastic individual. He’s a fantastic guy, he’s a good pro.

“I had no fears putting Tommie in because I could see in training what a good, honest human being he was really.

“As a footballer he looked fast and agile and competitive, and all of things is what we’ve seen.

“I’m delighted he’s here and part of the football club.”