BOWYER & SON ARE PERFECT SCOUTING PARTNERS
GARY Bowyer has heard plenty about victorious raids on fortress Anfield. No w, the Blackb urn manager is hoping to engineer one of his own.
Bowyer’s dad Ian w as a midfielder in Br ian Clough’s gr eat Nottingham Forest side of the late 70s and 80s, winning tw o European Cups and b loodying the nose of many a Liverpool side.
Now 63, he accompanied his son to Liverpool’s 1-0 victory over Besiktas a fortnight ago and – in between tips on how to triumph – subjected the Rovers chief to a bit of nostalgia.
“I think he enjoyed being back at Anfield,” says Bowyer. “He won quite a few times there – as he was happy to remind me! It was nice to watch the Besiktas game with him. Doing this job , you don’t get to spend much time with family.
“So it was like killing two birds with one stone – spend some time with my old man, do some scouting and tap into his experience at the same time.
“In all seriousness, the man’s won back-to-back Eur opean Cups. The experience and the knowledge he’s got – it would be stupid not to tap into that.”
Not that Bowyer isn’t doing just fine on his own. Relatively unknown when he took caretaker charge at Ew ood P ark in early 2013, the 43-y ear-old – whose playing career was ended by a knee injur y at 25 – has tur ned Rovers from a relegation-haunted laughing-stock into Championship promotion contenders and FA Cup quarter-finalists.
“I think people forget the size of the job w e took on,” he sa ys. “We could ha ve v ery quickl y gone through the league. Wolves did and we were pretty close to joining them. It was only a game in hand that we won at Millwall right at the death that k ept us in it. We’ve made a lot of progress and I feel I’ve played my part in that.
“But from my own ambitions, we’re a long way from where we want to be. We don’t want to just play Liverpool in the FA Cup.We want to play them every season. We want to get Blackburn back to where they were.”
EXPERIENCE: Ian Bowyer