Everything Tony Mowbray said on Jarrad Branthwaite as Blackburn Rovers boss defends loan ace

Tony Mowbray hailed the maturity of Blackburn Rovers defender Jarrad Branthwaite after Neil Warnock launched a verbal attack on the Everton loanee in the aftermath of the game.

Branthwaite was fortunate to have played the duration of Rovers’ contest with Middlesbrough after the 18-year-old launched his right boot high and into the face of Dael Fry, an incident that gave the defender a nasty wound underneath his eye and was subsequently forced to come off prematurely in order to receive necessary treatment.

The action of Branthwaite inside the penalty area went unpunished by referee Dean Whitestone, much to the disbelief of Warnock.

As a result, the Middlesbrough boss launched a foul-mouthed tirade on the officials during the first-half for their failure to spot the incident and Warnock then proceeded to express his anger at the final whistle, walking over to condemn Branthwaite before suggesting he should be ashamed of himself.

Mowbray was not caught up in the post-match incident but leapt to the defence of his teenage starlet. Here’s what the Rovers boss had to say.

Jarrad showed great maturity following the incident by not letting the situation affect him. Have you said anything to him after the game?

I haven’t seen it and I can’t get to the urgency for you to say ‘ooh, that’s a horrible challenge and it’s bad what’s happened to the kid’.

I don’t know. Jarrad is doing well. Jarrad is a young boy and as a centre-half I can sit there and see where we can help him. I can see the flaws in his game where has to learn. I had a good chat with him there.

I’m a bit apprehensive because we’re trying to improve other clubs players but they’re here to help us and I think Jarrad helps us at the moment. He’s 6ft 4 or 6ft 5, he’s a beanpole really but he’s pretty calm, he stands his ground and has a nice left foot that can play it forward for us. He can win headers, he has to learn the fine details of when to wrap his leg round, when to step in front and when not to not when you’ve got a big strong centre-forward against you.

He’s got all those little things as he develops and Everton will benefit somewhere down the line I am sure.

And the post-match melee, what did you make of it?

I didn’t see it, to be honest. Listen, football is an emotional game and nobody is more emotional than me. You try to keep your emotions in and Neil is an extraordinarily emotional manager.

I’ve managed a lot of times against Neil and as I’m sure you will know, he is a wonderful guy off the pitch, away from all the emotion and passion of football.

He’s an amazing human being who has done amazing things in football. I’m sure he will reflect. I’m not sure he should be facing an 18-year-old boy up who is just starting his career.

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I know the boy, after working with him for over a week, 10 days, he’s a shy kid from the Carlisle area or Cockermouth, wherever he is from. He’s just a boy who is on a journey who can’t believe that he’s played in the Premier League for Everton, played five times in the Premier League and now he’s at Blackburn learning his trade.

He’s just a kid. He has no edged to him. He’s not an angry kid and he’s a skinny boy. I have just seen him with his top off; he’s a skinny, scrawny kid who you could blow over. I don’t think I’d be confronting him really.

Neil’s emotional. He probably should have thought they deserved a sending off, it never happened and they lost 1-0 in their last home game. He’s probably really hurting and that’s reflected in his emotional and his passion for his football team.

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