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John Eustace named Blackburn Rovers head coach after Jon Dahl Tomasson leaves

John Eustace applauds the Birmingham fans
John Eustace's first game in charge will be against Birmingham City - his old club - on Tuesday

John Eustace has been named head coach of Championship strugglers Blackburn Rovers, just 35 minutes after Jon Dahl Tomasson's departure by mutual consent.

The 44-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year-deal with Rovers, his first post since he was dismissed by Birmingham City in October.

Eustace inherits a Blackburn side without a win in their past eight Championship games.

He will be in attendance for Saturday's game with relegation rivals Stoke City.

However, first-team coaches David Lowe and Damien Johnson - who were already at Blackburn - will take charge of the fixture, setting up an early reunion with former club Birmingham on Tuesday in Eustace's first game at the helm.

"I am looking forward to being at Ewood Park tomorrow and meeting the supporters, who can play a big part for us between now and the end of the season," Eustace told the club website.

"I will give my all to ensure the fans have a team they can be proud of and, together, I hope we can quickly start climbing the table."

Eustace tasked with turning Rovers slump

Eustace's spell with Blues was cut short by the new ownership's decision to appoint Wayne Rooney, but not before he had turned a side threatened by relegation into one challenging at the top end of the Championship, with Birmingham sixth at the time of his departure.

The task awaiting him at Ewood Park is a similar one from his early days at St Andrew's, as Blackburn's 2-1 loss at home to struggling Queens Park Rangers on Saturday left them five points above the drop zone.

Rovers were seventh and two points off the top six on 29 November, but have won just once in the league since.

Since December's 2-1 win at home to Bristol City - the last time Rovers won in the Championship - the club have lost six league games and drawn twice, with their only victories in that period coming in the FA Cup.

Their poor form comes despite having the league's joint-top scorer, Sammie Szmodics, with the 28-year-old contributing 16 Championship goals this term and five more in the FA Cup.

Hopes of signing Duncan McGuire from Major League Soccer side Orlando City were also foiled, after the English Football League refused to ratify the deal because of incorrectly submitted paperwork.

Jon Dahl Tomasson on the touchline
Jon Dahl Tomasson said he offered to leave last summer following cuts to the playing budget

Tomasson exits with Rovers "in serious situation"

The ending of Tomasson's time at Blackburn has coincided with a difficult off-field situation, which the Dane himself described as "very serious" when asked if there was a crisis at the club.

His first season in charge continued the good work of his predecessor Tony Mowbray, with Rovers missing out on the play-offs on goal difference after an eight-match winless run ultimately cost them a top-six spot.

This campaign began in positive fashion under Tomasson, before their winter slump.

It emerged that a budget cut during the summer had almost precipitated an earlier exit for the former Malmo boss, but he continued in the role.

Rumours had persisted about his future after he did not complete his pre-match media commitments before the recent QPR loss, which was said to be a club decision.

Now he has departed, with BBC Radio Lancashire expecting him to return to Sweden to take up a new role.