Tony Mowbray’s Blackburn Rovers side are in the middle of a frantic fixture schedule, which sees them play seven games in 21 days. Tonight’s game against Premier League Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup is the fourth game of seven in three weeks, comparing his side’s schedule to swimming underwater.
Rovers make the long journey to Bournemouth for the Third Round fixture in the Carabao Cup as the games keep coming for Tony Mowbray’s men. Tonight’s match is the third successive away game for Rovers, before this weekend’s home clash with Nottingham Forest.
With such a long journey ahead of them, some Blackburn Rovers fans are already well on their way to Bournemouth, with a 550-mile round trip waiting for them.
Mowbray told the Lancashire Telegraph:
“I think there’s almost an acceptance that in the EFL you have to keep churning your players out.
“Yet the Premier League teams are complaining and I see they have only played six matches, we have played nine and this is the third round of the Carabao Cup.
The manager compared his fixture schedule to swimming underwater, as Blackburn Rovers struggle to find time to have a break until the international break arrives.
“It feels like a heavy schedule already, and I know the international breaks are a welcome break, but it feels like you are swimming a length under water and then coming up and taking a gasp of air and then going again and swimming another length under water.
“It feels as if you have to go full pelt week after week after week and then you get a two week break so you should be trying to do lots of work and develop certain aspects with the team but really it’s about giving them rest and allowing them to recover.”
“You don’t want to be working their legs too hard during period because you know you’re going to have another six weeks of two games a week.
“It’s a hard shift and I think that’s why the bigger clubs will come to the fore with the bigger depth and quality of their squads.
“Everyone is going to find that tough and you will get tired footballers as you head towards Christmas and New Year, you will pick up injuries, and I think that’s why the teams with the bigger budgets get through.
Mowbray admitted that the EFL are trying to help solve the issues of fixture congestion, despite his side’s hectic schedule.
“Can the EFL look at it? I’m sure they do every season and look at it intently and see what they can do.
“This year there are no replays (in the FA Cup) or extra-time so they are trying really hard to help.
“As a football manager I work within the rules, I don’t see myself as someone who wants to change the world, I will abide by what the rules are.”