Tony Mowbray will reflect on a ‘rewarding’ five-year stay at Rovers where he hopes to have had a lasting impact on the club.

Mowbray’s arrival immediately lifted the mood around the Senior Training Centre at Brockhall having instilled his personality on the club after taking charge in February 2017.

His contract runs to June 30, but today’s trip to Birmingham City will be his last in charge, with Rovers expected to make a statement in the coming days over the manager’s position, having so far made no comment, despite his upcoming departure.

The curtain will come down on his time at the club at the final whistle today, completing a sixth full season in charge for Mowbray who is the Championship’s longest-serving manager, seventh across the 92 Premier League and EFL clubs, as well as Rovers’ second-longest serving post-War manager.

He appreciates the support he has received, and also the efforts of the staff who he has worked closely with, particularly at the Senior Training Centre.

Reflecting on his time in charge, Mowbray said in his final pre-match press conference: “Over five years I’ve really enjoyed it.

“If this is an opportunity to say thank you to the supporters and the amazing staff, mainly the ones who work here at the STC with me, but the extended staff who work at Ewood and the Academy. It’s been quite an experience.

“It’s been great to be able to bring my values to the club over five years, most managers don’t get that much time at a club.

“I’ve had an amazing experience being able to create an environment where people enjoy coming into work every day, I hope players feel they’re here to improve every day.

“It’s been very rewarding and I thank everyone for participating in what is a pretty brutal life at times, because the results are there every three days, or week, for the world to have an opinion on.

“This life is very up and down and the manager’s life of any football club is an extreme of that up and down.

“You have great highs for team victories with everything that you’ve planned and prepared and organised and inspired young men to go out and do it.

“The downs are really low when your team takes a good beating and nothing works that you thought and you lose heavily.

“That’s the life of football management.”

Having left Hibernian to join West Bromwich Albion in 2006, and then the Baggies for Celtic in 2009, it wasn’t until his third managerial job with the Glasgow club, that Mowbray had left a club not of his own volition.

He was without a club for seven months after leaving Celtic before taking on the job at boyhood club Middlesbrough in 2010.

After his stay at Boro came to an end after three years in October 2013, it wasn’t until March 2015 that Mowbray returned to management with Coventry City, which remains his longest time out of the game.

Mowbray was out of work for five months after taking the decision to leave Coventry City before taking over at Rovers in February 2017.

While looking forward to some time with his family, who have remained in his native Teesside throughout his time at Rovers, the manager knows it won’t be long before thoughts turn to his next job.

His preference would be one in management, rather than a position such as a director of football, or any other behind the scenes.

He said: “Football seeps into your life, it’s hard to remove it. Even if I’m not in football I’ll be watching football non-stop.

“I live on Teesside, I’ll probably be pestering Mr Gibson (Middlesbrough chairman, Steve) to make sure I can go and watch their home games because it’s literally three minutes from my front door.

“But I don’t know, I’m not playing the emotional game, but it is nice to be able to take your kids to school, drop them off, take your wife out for lunch and then go and pick them up. Do normal stuff that you don’t do when you’re in this job.

“To be able to do normal things is good.

“But give me a few weeks and I’ll be craving organising something, planning something, preparing a session.

“I hope to be in football management still for a long time because it’s what I do.

“But it is becoming more difficult.

“I do it because I like footballers who want to learn and get better and try and get a better life and get to the Premier League. That’s why I do it and hopefully there’s another opportunity out there for me to be able to continue doing that.”

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