Jones impressed by Rovers' new signings as Blackburn raid the Premier League during transfer window

Four head to Ewood Park on loan ahead of deadline

By Mike Simmonds
Saturday, 11th September 2021, 8:58 am
Updated Saturday, 11th September 2021, 9:00 am
On-loan Blackburn midfielder Ian Poveda in action for Leeds United
On-loan Blackburn midfielder Ian Poveda in action for Leeds United

Town boss Nathan Jones has been impressed by Blackburn Rovers’ dealings in the transfer window after they brought in four players on loan, plus Lincoln City defender Tayo Edun ahead of the deadline passing last month.

After losing star striker Adam Armstrong to Southampton for £15m, Rovers boss Tony Mowbray raided Brighton & Hove Albion for German winger Reda Khadra and Dutch defender defender Jan Paul van Hecke.

He also stayed in the Premier League, enticing Leeds United’s England U20 international Ian Poveda to sign for the season, after his 14 Premier League appearances for the Whites last term, plus Liverpool midfielder Leighton Clarkson.

On deadline day, Rovers managed to add highly-rated defender Edun from the Imps as well, a player who had been reportedly impressing Luton too.

Ahead of this afternoon's meeting, Jones said: “They’ve got an excellent side and they’ve signed some good players.

“They’ve signed a couple from my old club (Brighton), we know Tayun very, very well and then Ian Poveda signed from Leeds is obviously wonderful quality, added to what they’ve already got.

“We know it’s always a tough game against Blackburn and we don’t expect anything different.

“They’re a good side, they’ve got a good squad and they’re a side with a big budget and aspirations of getting promoted.

“It’s great that we’re competing with these sides and that shows that we’re in a decent place.

“We’re in there, right on their tails.

"We finished above them and it was a big milestone for us to finish above clubs like that and Bristol City, because it shows that we are a Championship team, because these are very, very good Championship sides.

"For us to be in that mix, shows that people class us as that as well, and, we’re proving to be that.”

Rovers have been long searching to get back into the Premier League after their relegation in 2012, even having a campaign in League One, until they bounced back under current boss Mowbray.

Jones knows that they have ambitions of making the top flight this term too, as he continued: “They’re a proper Championship side with some real talented players.

“We’ve had some real monumental battles with them, we’ve lost once to them in a little bit acrimonious circumstances (disputed free kick), which we’ve learned from and it’s always a tough game when you go there.

“They’re a good side, real play-off aspirations, and that’s not being disrespectful, as whether they have top two I don’t know, but they’ll definitely have play-off ones.

"It’s the start of a tough week but it's the start of another great week.

"We’ve had a good two weeks leading in, I would imagine Blackburn have had exactly the same, so it’s going to be a good game I’m sure.”

After having a fortnight off for the international break, Town now have three games in seven days, heading to Bristol City on Wednesday and then hosting Swansea City the following weekend.

It’s a schedule that perplexes Jones, who added: “It’s silly how this works out, I can’t understand why there’s no home, away, home, away, home, away, but everyone’s the same.

"We've had two home fixtures, now we’ve got two away fixtures, it’s ridiculous really.

"You go to Blackburn and then you go to Bristol midweek, you play on a Wednesday night, you have an extra day but then you have one less, there’s no logic in it for me.

"I don’t understand it, but everyone’s in the same boat, so I’m not moaning, I just think it’s another crazy decision along with some of the crazy decisions that we see from governing bodies all around the world.”