A legend on Teesside, Tony Mowbray is a recognisable face, even in an attempted disguise of a hooded jacket.

The Rovers boss knows all too well about being manager of his home-town club, something current Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate is just acclimatising himself to.

Mowbray still bases his family on Teesside, travelling back after Tuesday and Saturday matches, often taking in some Sunday football watching his son’s Under-10s side.

It is there that he hears about the trials and tribulations at The Riverside, but is fully supportive of Woodgate who is following the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in to management. And Mowbray says the 39-year-old is deserving of his crack at the top job.

“I’m a normal bloke, but when you have such an ugly face as me then it’s recognisable and everyone on Teesside seems to recognise it,” Mowbray explained. “There doesn’t seem to be a hiding place, even underneath a parka hood.

“Everyone tells you what they think the Boro are doing, why he’s playing him, why’s he doing that? Everyone has an opinion and I understand that. That’s football.

“I support Woody as much as I can. Some people will say ‘Jonathan Woodgate, brilliant’ and others will be ‘well he’s never done it, it’s a gamble’. But you have to start somewhere and your career dictates it.

“Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney is tip-toeing in to it, he’s played for Real Madrid, got to a Champions League semi-final with Leeds United, played for Tottenham.

“Has he earned the right to have a go? I’d say so.

“I watched his interview after the Luton game (3-3 draw) and could see the rawness of the emotion. He just loves football.

“I just hope he feels like that in six months time, 12 months time, because he will have felt what it’s like to lose and to win, to draw, how the emotions can rip your life to bits or feel like king of the castle.

“You understand that you work hard so that success feeling, that victory feeling is something you feel a lot more than the desolation of defeat.”

With Mowbray and Mark Venus in the dug-out, Stewart Downing, Danny Graham, Richie Smallwood, Harry Chapman and Jayson Leutwiler on the playing staff, there are no shortage of Boro connections at Rovers.

Mowbray is hoping for a great occasion, one that can inspire his side to a first win of the season.

He added: “I’m sure they will bring plenty of fans, it’s not too far down the road.

“I was at my son’s Under-10s at the weekend and every dad of every child seemed to be coming to Ewood Park on Saturday so that’s a gauge. It sounds to me like half of Teesside are coming.

“Let’s hope there’s a bumper crowd, a good performance, good result and we can get up and running.”

Rovers narrowly avoided being the eighth Championship club, and fifth by lower league opposition, to be knocked out of the Carabao Cup in midweek after a last-gasp win over Oldham.

Boro were beaten by League Two Crewe on penalties, leaving Woodgate searching for his first win.

Though Mowbray doesn’t believe that will have any impact on tomorrow’s game.

“Woody is very early in to his tenure and I’m sure the supporters will be very patient and understanding,” he said.

“They will see he made changes and gave some young lads an opportunity. I found pretty early on in my tenure there, we lost to Accrington at home in the cup and it wasn’t particularly pleasant.

“But there were several Championship teams that went out. So early in the season you have these players who’ve all worked hard and are desperate to play.

“Generally you only have one or two days trying to put together a team on the training pitch.

“You can get some upsets. It will concern him of course, because every manager wants to win, so they will come hungry and want to get their first three points on the road.

“They will take some confidence from the three goals they scored at Luton in the opening game.

“We have to make sure it’s a tough day for them and they feel our quality, our power and strength, and that’s what we intend to do, be positive, attack and try and score some goals and get Ewood bouncing.”