OF the areas Gary Bowyer must try to address one of the most pressing is the chronic lack of pace his team possesses in the final third.

But, with one hand tied behind his back, how does the Rovers boss go about doing that?


It would come as a major, but welcome, surprise if the club’s embargo for failing Financial Fair Play is lifted at the end of the season.

Bowyer seems certain, therefore, to spend a further year being restricted to loan signings and free transfers.

That is, of course, unless Rovers cash in on one of their prized assets.

At present, though, the club’s owners Venky’s appear to have no interest in doing that, with Middlesbrough joining Hull in having £10m-plus bids for Jordan Rhodes turned down.

But what Financial Fair Play does not prevent embargoed clubs from doing is negotiating new deals with current members of squads.

And, of the soon to be out-of-contract players Rovers have on their books, agreeing fresh terms with Josh King has to be high on their priority list.

King, the only attacking player in Bowyer’s squad with genuine, defence-destroying speed, has often flattered to deceive during his injury-hit Ewood Park career.

But he has been sorely missed since his latest stint on the sidelines and, anyhow, he would argue he has not been played in his preferred position enough.

And, judging by the way he almost single-handedly tore Stoke to shreds when given a starting spot up front, he would appear to have a case.

However that virtuoso display will have also advertised his talents to a wider audience and, as a free agent, the ball is very much in his court.

But if Rovers can strike a deal with King, and that is what they are certainly trying to do, it would go some way to remedying a problem that once more was too all apparent in his absence in Saturday’s dismal defeat to Brighton.

The 1-0 loss, and the dreadful first-half performance in particular, also highlighted the need for more leaders in what remains a fairly young group.

All-too-nice Rovers barely put a foot on Brighton and the fact they finished the match without a yellow card to their name was telling.

In retrospect Connor Mahoney should have been thrown on.

The Blackburn-born, lifelong Rovers fan may not yet be ready for the first team and, if it had not been for injuries, he would have been nowhere near the bench.

But the arrival of the 18-year-old would have certainly lifted an understandably flat and frustrated crowd.

So too would have King.

Let’s just hope that options remains open to Rovers come August.