BOWYER & SON ARE PER­FECT SCOUT­ING PART­NERS

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

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

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