Jon Dahl Tomasson has no concerns over including Ben Brereton in his starting line-up against Queens Park Rangers this afternoon despite the ongoing speculation surrounding the attacker’s future.

Adam Armstrong found himself in a similar position to Brereton 12 months ago and wasn’t involved in Rovers’ opening fixture of the 2021/22 season due to being affected by the continued speculation.

Yet Brereton will start against QPR today, Tomasson has confirmed, with the head coach stating the 23-year-old needs to keep performing for Rovers, irrespective of what the future holds.

Brereton is into the final 12 months of his deal at Ewood Park and after hitting 22 goals last season has attracted admiring glances from both the Premier League and European clubs.

The Chile international will at least start the season with Rovers however, and asked if he had any concerns over Brereton’s mindset, head coach Tomasson said: “No, he will play. He will play on Saturday.

“It’s normal because he’s a great player.

“I’ve had this question since the first day, which I understand, because great players come and go and everyone is interested in great players.

“He needs to perform for the club, but also himself.

“It’s about grabbing your chance, being ambitious, but first of all being ambitious for the team and doing the right things.

“I have no concerns about Ben, he’s a very good boy.”

The transfer window remains open until September 1, by which point Rovers will have played seven Championship fixtures.

Brereton is expected to line-up as part of a four-man Rovers attack today, as he did in the friendlies against Celtic and Lincoln City.

Tomasson said after last week’s final fixture that he was clear in his mind of his starting line-up for the opening day.

He said that was based upon both the friendlies and training sessions, with the squad given every chance to impress.

He added: “We record every session, we analyse every session.

“We look at the boys who give presentations about how they see the games, how we want to play and who is capable of playing like this and then you make choices.

“I have a clear idea of who should start.

“There will be changes coming up, with many games in a short period, and we need to use the squad otherwise we won’t survive all of those games.”

  • Jon Dahl Tomasson may never have worked in the Championship before, but he won’t be short of information on the division.

Tomasson says his role as head coach is focused on his players and their individual and collective improvement, but also on learning about the division and upcoming opposition.

That is helped by the information provided to him by the club’s analysis department as well as the coaching staff who were kept in place over the summer.

Rovers were always keen to retain the services of first-team coach David Lowe, technical coach Damien Johnson and goalkeeping coach Ben Benson, because of their knowledge firstly of the club, but also the Championship.

Tomasson, whose most recent job was in Sweden with Malmo, also brought in Remy Reijnierse as his assistant who also has experience of the division following his time with Sheffield Wednesday.

So all of that is allowing Tomasson to gain an understanding of the league and what challenges await.

He said: “First of all we have a great analysis department, I have a great staff who are used to it. We have Damo, Dave and Ben who are used to the Championship, Remy has worked in the Championship before.

“I haven’t worked in the Championship before but when I first went to Malmo it was the same in terms of the number of days off so the load won’t be a problem.

“I’m looking forward to a new challenge, but I have good people around me who can tell me things and let me know about any surprises.

“It’s a new chapter, I’m not sure whether rebuild is the right word but it’s a new era and also a little different way of playing.”


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