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CRAIG Conway missed the Scunthorpe United trip with a bruised hip picked up in Saturday’s win over Rochdale.

That handed Rekeem Harper the chance to make his first start since joining on loan from West Brom, though he too picked up a groin injury which saw him replaced afer half-time.

Conway's absence was a blow for Rovers, with his return from a hamstring strain, which saw him miss the opening two league games, having coincided with Rovers achieving a hat-trick of league wins.

But Mowbray was pleased to be able to give Harper an opportunity in the team having been impressed with the teenager since his arrival at Ewood Park.

“Craig Conway was a loss, we have spoken about his and Bennett’s athleticism and they have a fantastic approach to the game,” Mowbray said.

“He trained on Monday but came off before the end.

“He has a huge bruise on his hip and he did try and train but didn’t finish training

“Rekeem played instead of Harry (Chapman), Peter (Whittingham) or Ben (Gladwin) who could have played there, but his natural athleticism that we have seen in training and the distance he can cover is quite frightening.

“It would have been nice for the kid if he could have put his forehead to the cross in the first-half and scored.

“He felt his groin at half time and had to come off.”

Reserving praise for the travelling support, Mowbray added: “I feel like a broken record, but they are amazing.

“I think it gives the players the sense of feeling that they are playing for a big football club.

“We were described in their programme as a fallen giant. The players have to know, the new players and the ones who have been a few years, they have to realise that the expectation at this football club is that never mind fallen, we can be a giant and hopefully we will be giant again.

“We have to come to places like this and win and that is what we have done, so I'm delighted for them.”