TRUSTING in his decision and not taking notice of any doubters is how Tony Mowbray deals with any potential question marks.

The Rovers boss admits management is a lonely place, with his job judged on what happens in the 90 minutes on a Saturday, despite so much more going into it than that.

Mowbray isn’t a manager swayed by popular opinion. Typical examples would include his decision to leave Harry Chapman on the bench last season while there was a clamour from the fans for him to start, while this term he has chosen to stick by those who helped the club to promotion last year.

Eyebrows were raised at the time of his appointment in February 2017, but you’d be hard pushed to find dissenters at a record which has boasts 45 wins in 90 matches in charge, losing just 16.

Though he isn’t without his critics, admitting: “I’m sure even Pep Guardiola has his doubters.

“How do you deal with it? I keep it away, I’m not really interested.

“Management is a very lonely place, you have to make decisions and stick by them and at the end of the day the only way to keep a job is to win football matches.

“Along the way I deal with human beings, I deal with lads who have aspirations and dreams and I try and teach them lessons on life, humility, integrity and hard work, team spirit, togetherness and try and be humble and honest to the people who pay their money to come and watch their team and don’t fob them off with ‘we were brilliant today’ when we were terrible, or vice versa.

“That’s how I manage and if people want to doubt then that’s fine, they can doubt.

“I’m like the keyholder to the club, it’s my job. I’m the manager who makes the decisions and ultimately you live and die by your decisions, you have to win games and pick teams that win football matches.”

Mowbray isn’t on any form of social media and is often at pains to say he’s not one to read, or listen, to the media.

While on the touchline he can take in things shouted from the stands, he isn’t one to think too deeply about how his management is viewed.

But he admits it was harder to avoid during his time as manager of his hometown club, Middlesbrough, between 2010 and 2013.

“I went through a spell at Middlesbrough where it used to affect my mother, in her late 70s. She would tell me that the phone-in after the game was terrible, but I don’t care,” he said.

“With total respect to the guy who has spent his working week on the steelworks, or wherever he works, he’s paid his money and if he wants to tell me that I’ve made the wrong substitutions or picked the wrong team, what can you do? You’d have to answer the questions of everyone because they all have their different opinions.

“So you do your own thing, trust your own decisions and live and die by those.

“If you keep making the wrong decisions, picking the wrong team and getting beat, or buy the wrong players who aren’t winning you football matches then you won’t be a manager for very long.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I keep them to myself, but I have opinions of every football match I watch.

“What I do know is that managers who stay in the game a long time win more games than they lose.”

Mowbray guided Rovers back to the Championship at the first attempt and his aims now are to build for a sustainable, and bright, future at the club.

“I’m hoping for this club, as I’ve said in the past, that we can keep progressing it and some of these players that have been so good for us in League One will get left behind,” he said.