Blackburn Rovers: “We’re all excited for the future under Jon Dahl Tomasson!”

Blackburn have appointed Jon Dahl Tomasson as manager to replace Tony Mowbray, seeking to build on an eighth-placed finish last season.

The Dane has won the Allsvenskan with Malmö FF in 2020 and 2021, claiming the Swedish top flight’s Manager of the Year award on the former occasion.

Tomasson also assisted Denmark manager Åge Hareide for four years, with The Red and Whites reaching the Round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup in that time and qualifying for Euro 2020.

Daniel Ainsworth from Rovers Chat says the appointment has lifted spirits in the fanbase, after the disappointment of missing out on the top six last term.

“I’d say, from what I’ve seen across social media and forums, that the excitement level for the appointment of Jon Dahl Tomasson is high.

“Personally, I expected us to go down the path of appointing a typical English manager – Pardew, Hughton, Pulis etc – so seeing someone like Tomasson walk through the door was a refreshing surprise.

“We were linked quite heavily with Daniel Farke, Carlos Carvahal and Ronny Deila, and they all ended up at other clubs, so the worry kicked in that we weren’t going to have a manager by the start of pre-season.

“But, now, Jon Dahl is at the wheel and we’re all excited for what the future holds under the Dane.”

The 45-year-old picks up the baton from Mowbray, who won promotion from League One in his first full season at Ewood Park, prior to two top half berths in four Championship campaigns – the other two being 15th-placed finishes.

“I’ll be forever grateful for the job that Tony Mowbray did, taking us from being a side that looked like it was only going downhill to a stable, Championship club.

“He brought through a lot of young talent from the academy, along with some great signings, and we are in a much better position than we were when he took over.

“The one criticism of Mowbray that we all had, and the thing that made most fans want a change, was that we seemed to get into a good position by Christmas and then collapse, missing out on the playoffs.

“Last season saw the fans grow tired of Mowbray and the collapse, and a change was needed. We expected him to leave this summer, so it was no shock when it was announced.

“Like I say, I will forever appreciate Tony’s work here, but now was the right time to make a change.”

Rovers may be looking to make plenty of changes on the field as well as one in the dugout, with Daniel arguing their squad requires extensive surgery.

“Our captain, Darragh Lenihan, is off to Middlesbrough, Jan Paul van Hecke’s loan spell has come to an end and Daniel Ayala has been linked with a move back to Spain, so two centre-backs are more than likely to be needed.

“The right-back position is a tough one as well. At the time of writing, Ryan Nyambe is yet to decide where he’ll start the new season, so we’ll need a player there if he departs.

“Stocking up on the midfield wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Bradley Johnson, Jacob Davenport and Joe Rothwell have all departed, so someone will be needed to at least add competition in the area.

“We’re also likely to need at least one forward, and with Ben Brereton Diaz’s future up in the air after a top season, we may need another addition to try and recoup the goals.

“In essence, I could have answered this question with the fact we need most outfield positions!

“A point to note is, however, we don’t know how Jon Dahl Tomasson will definitely want to line up, so that will play a part in what areas we need.”

Tomasson deployed wing-back systems in all six of his side’s Champions League outings last season, while Rovers operated with a back-three in 26 of their 46 league games – but will the next 46 lead the Lancashire club to a top six spot?

“It would be nice! Realistically, I’m expecting us to have a year of consolidation, finishing somewhere around 12th in the league.

“We could be surprised, but some of the team having spent five years under Mowbray, they’ll need time to adjust to Tomasson’s tactics and that could see us have a slow start and, of course, spells of poor performances are guaranteed.

“The likes of Farke and Corberan finished lower in their first season before top six finishes, and I’m expecting Russell Martin to try the same with Swansea, so I’m happy to spend a year letting the lads adapt to the new manager.”

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Author: Paula Bryant