Sam Gallagher gives insight into ‘new direction’ under Jon Dahl Tomasson

Sam Gallagher says Rovers have had to acclimatise to a new way of working under Jon Dahl Tomasson.

Whether it be a difference in timings, programs or how pre-season minutes are shared, Tomasson has switched things up following his appointment as head coach.

While Gallagher says he has had the benefit of working with a number of different managers throughout his career, for many of Rovers players that was not the case.

The 26-year-old has quickly become one of the club’s more senior players as a result of a summer of change on the playing front.

And on the pre-season period, he said. “It’s been tough, a different way of working, it’s always going to be when you’ve got a new direction.

“It’s been a different way of putting the hard yards in and everyone has come to find out what it’s about.

“The fans may have seen in the games, with the high pressure and the intensity we want to be working at, so it’s definitely been different, but it’s been good.

“The boys are feeling fit and strong and eager to see how it works out.”

Although a different way of working, Gallagher says that it shouldn’t indicate that how things were done under Mowbray didn’t bring desired results.

He explained to Rovers TV. “It’s not to say that the way we did things before wasn’t right or wasn’t working because we had some great results and great times.

“It gives everyone that recharge and boost that we might have needed.

“I’ve worked under quite a few managers already so I know what it’s like, the first day when you don’t know what the new manager is going to be like and you’re on your toes a little bit.

“A lot of the boys that have come into the first-team here and Tony was their only gaffer, they didn’t quite know what to expect.

“Your whole schedule is different, so everyone has had to adapt, new gym programs, timings, little things, but at the moment it’s feeling good and pushing us in the right direction.”

Gallagher is coming into his fourth season at Rovers following his £5m move from Southampton in 2019.

He endured a disrupted pre-season campaign last summer, picking up an injury on the first day back, but did start the season in the team and scored in the opening day win over Swansea City.

Injuries throughout the course of the campaign set him back, but he still managed to clock up 39 appearances, scoring nine goals.

Upon his arrival, Tomasson was caught on camera greeting Gallagher as ‘a striker’, despite having played much of his football for Rovers in the wide areas.

Gallagher says he didn’t take much from that exchange, and Tomasson has used him in a wider role in the last two pre-season friendlies, but with freedom to move.

“Knowing about him and his career, he won the Champions League, so when someone like that gives you advice it’s something you’re going to focus on and listen to,” Gallagher said of his relationship with Tomasson.

“I didn’t read too much into it, that (a striker) is what I see myself as, but the last couple of games we’ve played as a front four and moved around as the game evolves.

“He’s not focused on a strict formation, just wants the forward players to get on the ball and express themselves.”

Nervous excitement is set to greet the opening day, with Gallagher and the team looking to build on last season’s eighth-placed finish.

Feeling fit and strong heading into the 2022/23 campaign, Gallagher said. “I’m enjoying my football, the training, and being a more senior player.

“I don’t mind it, it was a bit of a scary moment in training where they handed the bids to the older boys and I was one of them.

“I thought that happened quite quickly, it just shows how fast everything changes and how many young boys and big potential young players we have coming into the squad.

“To be 26, you’re not in the young group, you’re one of the older ones.”

Rovers have another home game to start the season, with QPR the visitors on Saturday as the new season gets under way.

Victory over the Swans gave Rovers a winning start to last season, their first in 11 years and a feat Gallagher is looking to repeat this time around.

“We want to get off on the right foot and are aiming to build that momentum early on. It just gives you the belief that all the hard work will pay off.

“We’ll look to do the same again. We’re all really keen and looking forward to it.

“Getting that first win out of the way is what we’re looking to do.”


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