Date: 26th June 2017 at 7:40am
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Blackburn have parted with 11 players this summer, soon to become 12 when Connor Mahoney departs, but have signed two so far – Cardiff’s Peter Whittingham and Rotherham’s Richie Smallwood.

Of course, already a Rovers player, Corry Evans’ return from injury will make him like a new signing to boss Tony Mowbray.

Initially Mowbray hoped to have Evans involved for the Championship run in before conceding defeat and the decision was made Blackburn had to get the Northern Ireland internationals long-term groin injury right for the start of the 2017-18 season.

As the pre-season return moves ever closer Mowbray revealed his excitement at Evans’ impending return.

He told the Official Website: ‘I’m looking forward to having Corry Evans fit. There were maybe two training sessions where Corry joined in when I first arrived. I can see that his ball retention is very high, he’s very tight with the football, so I’m looking forward to trying to put a midfield together that is both competitive and talented.’

Evans isn’t going to be thrown in at the deep end, he’s worked hard through the summer and will be ready like everyone else, but the boss knows the importance of easing the talented midfielder back into the fold.

‘Corry has worked through the whole of pre-season so he’ll be ready to join in with everybody else when they start. So as I’ve said I’m looking forward to having him fit and healthy and part of the squad. I think we are going to have to manage his introduction back in, not to throw him in and play him for 90 minutes straight away and put too much strain on his body. To ease him back into football. But I can see the very obvious talent he possesses.’

As said, two of the will-be 12 players to leave Ewood Park have been replaced. What about the rest? Asked if he would look to bring in as many as departed, Mowbray said he wasn’t but is looking at some seven or eight arrivals.

He told the Lancashire Telegraph: ‘I don`t think that many. We are probably working to seven or eight, probably eight, because I think the squad was quite big last year. In League One I don`t think we will be carrying the same size squad but it`s about keeping the quality high. And if we can keep together the squad that we have then the quality will be high.’

Blackburn have recently been linked with Gillingham’s Bradley Dack and QPR’s Ben Gladwin. Dack, 23, is thought to be closing in on a move to Ewood, becoming Mowbray’s third signing.

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