Charlie Mulgrew is, without doubt, a leading figure in the Rovers camp and a man that Tony Mowbray will desperately want to keep hold of as the January transfer window approaches.
It’s no surprise that when Mulgrew plays well, Rovers play well and his form over recent weeks, both in defence and in front of the opposition goal has gone some way to helping Rovers climb to third in the table as both Wigan and Shrewsbury begin to look over their shoulders at the chasing pack.
Mulgrew has scored 9 goals already for Rovers this season, which is a great tally for a defender in any league – it’s more than a lot of strikers.
Form and confidence spread like wildfire and the back line of Downing, Williams, Nyambe and Raya look a far more cohesive and dependable unit when Mulgrew is around.
A brief look back at the Northampton game would appear to back this up, as Mulgrew missed out and Elliot Ward filled his boots.
Without suggesting that Ward is a bad player, just purely that he was unable to step into the shoes of an in-form Mulgrew and that the confidence of other players around him may not have been as it would have, had Mulgrew been on the pitch.
And, with Antonsson missing a penalty, there’s no doubt that Mulgrew would’ve put the penalty away – which would’ve all but won Rovers the game.
It’s not just at the back that Mulgrew’s presence is felt. The likes of Richie Smallwood, Bradley Dack and many others seem to have broken into a rich vein of form at the just the right time for Rovers, unsurprisingly coinciding with the form of the skipper.
There aren’t many sides, if any, in League 1 that can boast of an international, ball-playing centre-half in their ranks and Rovers are fortunate to have a player of that calibre in their squad. If he can sustain his current level and breath that confidence and belief throughout the squad then I firmly expect Rovers to achieve promotion.
Holding onto him in January is vital, and if Mowbray can bring in a few fresh faces and build a side around the nucleus of Mulgrew, Smallwood and Dack then 2018 promises to be a very exciting year for Rovers fans.
What are your thoughts on Charlie Mulgrew? Could Rovers cope without him or is he crucial to our promotion bid?Reply below or tweet us at @rovers_chat.
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