Dour - a word that has followed Tony Mowbray around. You need only a quick Google search for that to become clear.

Indeed, during his time in Glasgow he was described by one journalist as “the unhappiest Celtic manager I’ve ever seen” who had “an absence of the mischievous gleam in the eye”.

One piece called him “direct, dogged and dour” while another touched on his “dour countenance and sotto speech”.

How well can you get to know someone whose interactions largely revolve around pre-match and post-match interviews and the odd chat on the phone?

Well, enough to know that he’s not dour, that’s a misconception. He’s passionate, without ranting and raving, emotional, without the hysteria, and clever, someone who can read the room and a situation very well.

The topic of conversation is largely football, Mowbray is a man devoted to the game, and his family. There is little room, or desire, for anything else in his life.

Shrugging off the accusations, Mowbray said: “It doesn’t bother me, it’s been labelled at me for a long time.”

Mowbray invests his time in people, wants to educate them, there are stories and anecdotes for every occasion, and even hearing them more than once, they still resonate.

“We’re doing a lot of work as a coaching staff on profiles, and it’s my profile, I sit on the edge, a dominating but conscientious personality. My dominant personality is always fighting my conscientious personality,” Mowbray explained.

“My conscience is always thinking about what’s right and wrong, but then there’s the leader who wants to push on and tell everyone want to do.

“Does it affect me? No. My personality doesn’t get affected by criticism because I don’t expose myself to criticism because I feel as though I have a clear path of what I want to do and where I want to go and I’m hopefully bright enough to know that everyone has an opinion, and they’re allowed an opinion.

“You might want to play with two wingers and two strikers and not mess around trying to give the ball to someone who keeps losing it.

“It’s opinions. I don’t want to get swayed by opinions because everyone has their own opinion and if you’re not strong enough to go with what you believe in somewhere down the line, other than your trusted staff who are people that you listen to, you have to be very single-minded in this job.”

Mowbray has trusted confidants, and seeks few opinions outside that circle. He will be open to listening to suggestions, but believes a single-minded attitude is key to football management.

The players speak well of him, no dressing room discontent, and even in his 15 games in charge in the back end of the relegation season of 2017/18, a togetherness and bond was soon built up.

That carried those who stayed on to an immediate promotion the following season, though given the tough decisions made when it comes to picking the team, Mowbray says being liked isn’t something he seeks.

“Respected, I think. I’m not sure liked is the right word,” he added.

“I can’t be their friend because I have so many tough decisions to make. I procrastinate in front of my board. ‘Am I going to play Gallagher or Graham? Am I going to play Armstrong from the left or centre forward? But if I put him centre forward then I’ve got to tell Gallagher he’s sitting on the bench’.

“I can’t be their friend, but what I need them to understand is my logic and the reasons and make them feel as though they’re all part of the process. I can only pick 11 players.

“As long as I sell the story to them, explain the reasons, tell them how tough it is to pick a team, they understand and that the manager has a tough job.

“I try and explain the reasons, if they don’t like it, I don’t candour their favour and try and be their pal. I am what I am. Some days I’ll join in and have a laugh with them and they’ll feel that I’m involved, but other days they’ll feel that I’m stood 50 yards away from the session just watching it.

“I like good personalities and I manage the person before I manage the player.”

Rarely do managers focus so much on the “human beings” and “personality and character” of those within the dressing room, but it’s the message that Mowbray relays.

Having built up a strong dynamic within the squad, led by captain Elliott Bennett, Rovers are wary of breaking that.

And while talent will always be the main focus, personal values can have be a determining factor in whether the button is pressed on a transfer.

“I try and surround myself with good human beings but understand that footballers have to have talented,” he said in a wide-ranging interview with the BBC.

“But if I can have a talented guy who’s got good values, I’ll pick him over a talented guy who doesn’t care about anyone and is really selfish.

“You have to be careful, you can’t just have a team of nice guys, or you might get beat every week.

“You need to have talent, speed, a combination to make your football team, experience, enthusiasm, tenacity and some clinical finishers.”