Bradley Dack is a doubt for tomorrow night’s match with Reading. So if he doesn’t feature, who are the contenders to take his place? Rich Sharpe assesses Tony Mowbray’s options.


Kasey Palmer and Joe Rothwell would be the most like-for-like replacements. Chelsea loanee Palmer has been used so far out wide in his four Rovers appearances, while Rothwell’s have been shared between central midfield and cutting from the left.

Rothwell would prefer to be used in a ‘number eight role’, driving forward from deep, but the combination of Richie Smallwood and Corry Evans looks settled for now.

But a free role further up the pitch would give him licence to get on the ball and run with it.

Should Palmer be switched in to the number 10 role which Dack has made his own, then that would open up an option out wide. That could see Adam Armstrong moved to the left and Danny Graham brought in up front, with Craig Conway, Rothwell or Dominic Samuel options in the wide areas should Graham be among the substitutes.


Adam Armstrong was given the chance to lead the line against Hull City having done so when scoring twice in the Carabao Cup win over Carlisle United.

Most of his previous appearances for Rovers had come cutting in off the wing, with Graham preferred in attack.

But any potential absence for Dack could see Mowbray opt to play them both, with Armstrong tucked in behind Graham, with the ability to go beyond him when required.

Armstrong has shown his ability to drop deep and link the play, just as he did for the goal Dack scored in the win at Hull City.

That would see Palmer and Bennett maintain their roles out wide as they have for the last two matches.


It would be a something of a left-field choice, but it is one Mowbray has used before, with Elliott Bennett in a number 10 role.

Bennett’s versatility has proved key since regaining his place in the starting line-up in the early parts of 2017.

More recently any moves more central have been in a deeper central midfield position, but the boss could move the 29-year-old in to the number 10 role and use two more attacking options in the wide areas.

Bennett doesn’t have the same attacking instincts as Dack, and may be seen as a more defensive option, particularly with Rovers at home to a side who may be lacking confidence given their start to the season.

But it was a role he started in the match at Reading in April 2017, before moving to left wing-back at half-time where he came up with a stunning strike in Rovers’ solitary goal in a 3-1 defeat.