Manager Grant McCann was pleased to see Tommy Rowe and James Coppinger back in action during Friday’s pre-season friendly against Sky Bet Championship side Birmingham City.
The pair got a half each in the outing, and McCann says it is a massive positive to have the experienced pair back in the frame as he finalises plans for the start of the 2018/19 campaign.
“It was brilliant to see Tommy and James come back into the side. Tommy hasn’t played since April and he’s only just re-joined in training with the group, but he really grew into it,” he said.
“Tommy looked strong towards the end of the half, he’ll tell you himself that he probably could have played a little bit longer too, and then Copps is Copps, he’ll get himself out of these tight spaces you’ll have seen him in and it’s great to see.
“We’re going to step up both of their game time next week, they’ll play 60 each against Grimsby or Deeping, they’ll both get the same amount of minutes and we will take it from there, but I’m pleased to see them both back in.”
A late strike from Che Adams gave a strong Blues side a 1-0 victory on the night, but McCann felt his side more than held their own against Garry Monk’s side.
“It was another good work out for us, I was really impressed with the group that were out, the fitness levels were great and I was impressed with their play against what was probably Birmingham’s strongest team,” he said.
“You only have to look at the players we left behind to know that this was only a very young team that we had out, so if you take all of that into account then you’ll see that it was a tremendous work out for our boys.
“It’s important that all the lads get as many minutes under their belts as they can , and I’m delighted with the response that I have had from the squad so far. It’s vital for us to get our message across to the boys and you can see they’re getting it.”
Rovers kick-off their Sky Bet League One campaign at Southend United on Saturday August 4, before their first home outing against Wycombe Wanderers the following Saturday.
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