Rovers boss Tony Mowbray admits it feels as though he is a striker light at Ewood but hailed the contribution of experienced frontman Danny Graham.

Graham has started 11 of Rovers’ 14 league matches, coming off the bench in the other three, and is an important cog in the side.

The 33-year-old has been nursing a sore back of late, leading to his withdrawal after 60 minutes in each of the last two matches.

That has led to Bradley Dack playing up front with Dominic Samuel out for the season with a knee injury and Adam Armstrong and Ben Brereton utilised out wide.

On whether he feels a man light in attack, Mowbray said: “It feels a little bit like that. We have had that conversation as a group.

“As I’ve said, the team are really involved in this campaign, it’s not just me as a manager sitting here and picking the team, they understand my emotion, why I make changes, why I pick a team, why I do it. I want them to be part of the system and understand.

“It’s easy to sit back and say ‘Danny Graham came off at 1-0 (against Swansea) and we lost 3-1’, but he couldn’t have done anything about the shot from 25 yards (for Swansea’s equaliser).

“What Danny brings is an experience, a knowledge, an understanding of how to play that role.”

Youngster Joe Nuttall started the win over Brentford in August but has found game-time hard to come by of late.

Throughout his time in charge, Mowbray has preferred to play Dack behind a central striker, with an attacking player on one wing and a more workmanlike option on the other flank.

In a three-game week, the boss has previously chosen not to start Graham in all of them, but the striker revealed this week he’s feeling the fittest he has during his three years at Ewood Park.

And that could see him keep his place for tomorrow’s trip to The Hawthorns as Rovers face West Brom.

Mowbray added of Graham: “He has a football brain and if we’re getting to a point where the pressing stops because we need a breather, then someone’s voice has to say ‘let’s drop away a little bit, let’s stay compact’ and invariably Danny does.

“With respect to 19-year-old Ben Brereton he’s not going to go out there and start organising the first line of defence. At times, the experience is important, other times when I look at Danny at 60 minutes he can find it difficult to keep ploughing through at the intensity I’m asking the team to be playing at.

“There’s always a thought in my mind about the next game and fresh legs on the bench waiting to come on.

“Danny is fully understanding of the process, he’s past the point of sulking or not understanding, he understands the reasons why on some days he will have to sit on the bench and other days he will play the full 90 minutes with a good recovery period to the next game.

“He’s an important player for us on the pitch in terms of his goals, holding the ball up and keep it in their final third but also his understanding of the game. Danny vocally can get that across to them.”