Competition for a spot in the matchday squad, never mind starting spots, will be fierce when Rovers entertain Aston Villa.

It has led to the suggestion, one Tony Mowbray agrees with, that this weekend’s squad will be the strongest Rovers have put out during his tenure.

Bradley Dack will add to those options after returning from a knee injury, and as the treatment room empties, and the new signings bed in, the signs are promising for the Rovers boss.

But he accepts the squad will be needed, and tested, during a run of seven games in 21 days before the next break, which will provide an indication of their credentials.

“I can’t play all the players. How strong is the squad? Well we will need it because there are so many games coming up and they will be rotated over the next month or so,” the boss said.

“The players know that and when you’re rotating Amari’i Bell with Derrick Williams, who has been proven to have helped this team win football matches, then it’s not as difficult a scenario and you don’t feel as though you’re weakening the team at all.

“You could say that now about other players.

“Harrison Reed has looked exceptional in training. He looks a real bundle of energy, fiery, wins tackles, passes, runs, very talented.

“Ben Brereton, I think I’ve trained two days with him because he’s been away with England.

“Yet I see someone who is 6’3” who can run past people, dribble, and can be a threat, but I know he’s still a boy and don’t want to put too much pressure on him.

“Over the length of his time here I’m sure he will prove what a talent he is.”

Tomorrow’s match will be Rovers’ 22nd in the Championship under Mowbray after taking charge in February 2017.

And reflecting on his first spell, he added: “When we were preparing for Brentford the other week I was looking at my notes I keep from every game and I was looking at the last game from our last Championship season and I see Sam Gallagher playing, the two midfield players were different, Lucas Joao and Marvin Emnes coming off the bench, I do think there were some different assets to that team on the day which found a way to win.

“The game we played a few weeks ago we won differently to that way, but the secret is to find a way.”

While the quality of the starting XI has increased, so too have the options, after a productive summer transfer window.

“The likes of (Joe) Rothwell are coming to the party,” Mowbray added.

“He was brought here on his promise and his individual ability with the ball, but he’s starting to add work ethic and a desire, a commitment to his undoubted talent on the ball which will only force him closer to the starting line-up and he will be given opportunities to cement a place in the team.

“Kasey Palmer could have scored another goal at Bristol City, hitting the underside of the bar, and that could have been three goals in four games and that’s what he needs to do, add goals to his games.

“We have lots of options, lots of options.”