No scheduling complaints for JDT as he makes Malmo comparison

·2-min read
Ben Rosen (right) has led Rovers' preparations
Ben Rosen (right) has led Rovers' preparations

The Championship schedule can take some adjusting to, particularly for someone who hasn’t worked in it before.

Yet Rovers boss Jon Dahl Tomasson isn’t complaining having endured similar during his two years with Malmo.

Progress in the Carabao Cup means Rovers have midweek fixtures for the remainder of the month, with tomorrow’s game with West Brom the first of six matches in the space of 17 days.

Having juggled league fixtures, progress in the domestic cups and European football during his two years at Malmo however, Tomasson is embracing the schedule.

He said: “We were used to that. For a long time at Malmo you had the qualification (for Champions League) and you needed to win four rounds. It’s almost mission impossible.

“In the meantime you need to win the league, qualify for Europe, create value on the pitch and play good football.

“It’s never good enough.

“The games came like here so that’s no problem.”

The players have bought into Tomasson and his methods, with the players who weren’t involved against Hartlepool United taking part in a training session which lasted until after 11pm.

The players trained again on Thursday and will do so today as part of their preparations for the West Brom fixture.

Key to Tomasson’s training plans is performance director Ben Rosen. He worked with Tomasson during his time at Malmo, as well as with the Denmark national team.

The head coach believes his squad couldn’t be fitter, and they will need to be to perform at the intensity Tomasson demands.

Assistant Remy Reijnierse was also brought in by Tomasson, with David Lowe, Damien Johnson and Ben Benson staying in their roles as first-team coach, first-team technical coach and goalkeeping coach respectively to provide some continuity.

“I brought Ben in because I know him. We worked together at Malmo and for the Danish national team as well,” Tomasson added.

“We have planned more than 100 sessions together so we know each other well.

“He’s done a very good job, as have the rest of the staff.

“Dave was at West Brom on Monday watching the game, the whole staff is involved and working hard.”

Having had no midweek game prior to the season, or after the opening day win over QPR, Tomasson opted to arrange behind-closed-doors matches in which those players who didn’t feature were able to still play match minutes against Port Vale and Accrington Stanley.

It appears a consistent part of Tomasson’s management to ensure that players don’t go any length of time without playing match minutes, not least given the expectation of intensity when they do cross the white line.

Tomasson has also switched up Rovers Under-21s fixture list, where possible.

Home games are now played at weekends, with Rovers hosting Wolves on Sunday at 12pm before the first-team game gets under way at 3pm.