Tony Mowbray says Ian Poveda's Blackburn Rovers debut was 'eye-opener' as winger bags assist

Tony Mowbray says Ian Poveda's Championship debut will have been an 'eye-opener' for the Leeds United winger.

Saturday, 28th August 2021, 8:59 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th August 2021, 9:02 pm
Blackburn Rovers head coach Tony Mowbray. Pic: Getty

The 21-year-old was selected centrally for Blackburn Rovers - completing an hour - having joined the Ewood Park outfit on a season-long loan deal earlier this week.

Poveda was afforded the chance to drop down into the Championship in a bid to gain more first team experience with chances limited at Elland Road under boss Marcelo Bielsa.

He was handed his debut at the first opportunity by new head coach Mowbray against Middlesbrough on Saturday, making his presence felt instantly as he prodded a pass through Paddy McNair's legs to Sam Gallagher before the striker finished emphatically.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Rovers, though, were pegged back by a goal from former Whites academy product Jonny Howson before a red card followed for either side in the latter stages of the 1-1 draw.

“It wasn’t very nice, I think it takes two teams to play a football match and Middlesbrough really stop you playing football, are very combative and really man for man in midfield," Mowbray said post-match.

“We put a few young boys in there, who have come from Premier League clubs, to try and get our foot on the ball, but I think it was a real eye-opener for them.

“I think it was a real eye-opener for [Leighton] Clarkson and [Ian] Poveda to play against that but we stuck at it.

“There was no fluency to the game.

“The young lads who played will be better for the experience of playing in games like this and our team will hopefully develop as the season unfolds.”

On the result itself, he added: "I think we have to be happy with a point. We’ll put it in the bag and we’ll be better as we move forward.

“It wasn’t a great football match. It was a game where we had to dig in. I thought Middlesbrough were good today – they were at it, on the front foot and really aggressive.

“It was a bit blood and thunder, but I think you get that at Middlesbrough. The fans here expect the team to give that and they did that well today.”