TONY Mowbray is looking to strike the right balance in his squad as he bids to compete at the sharp end of the Championship.

The Rovers boss has so far added experience to his dressing room in the form of Stewart Downing and Bradley Johnson.

Former England winger Downing, who turns 35 in 10 days, has been there, seen it and done it during his time with Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, West Ham and Liverpool.

Johnson is 32 and having previously won promotion from the second tier and played in the Premier League with Norwich, was in the Derby side that lost out in the play-off final to Aston Villa in May.

Goalkeeper David Raya has been the most high profile departure with Mowbray making it clear he wants a senior replacement for the 23-year-old after his move to Brentford.

“We hope Stewart and Bradley can come and reproduce what they’ve done in the past,” said the Rovers boss.

“They are very talented footballers.

I know they are in their 30s but we’ve got players like (Dan) Butterworth and (John) Buckley and (Tyler) Magloire and other young players who we really like and think can push on.

“We’re just trying to get a balance right with experienced players and the youth and exciting players that are coming through.”

Downing was first through the door this summer, quickly followed by Johnson who has signed a two-year deal.

Having played in the top flight during his time at Carrow Road, he was also a play-off winner in 2015 alongside Elliott Bennett. 

Down the pecking order at Derby, Mowbray moved quickly to get his man having been impressed by what he saw at close quarters last season.

Johnson made 34 appearances for the Rams in all competitions in 2018/19 and started both games against Rovers, a 0-0 draw at Pride Park last September and a 2-0 defeat for Frank Lampard’s men at Ewood Park in April.

“When we played at Pride Park last season he was the best player on the pitch, and by a considerable way I thought,” Mowbray said of his new recruit.

“Even though we managed to scrape out a 0-0 draw against them that night he controlled the game with his left foot and his power and his composure.

“I’m just delighted we’ve managed to get him on board.

“I hope he comes here and enjoys his football and makes us a better team.”

Work continues in the transfer market for Rovers who have also added midfielder Tom White and goalkeeper Joe Hilton to their Under-23s squad.

At least one goalkeeper is set to arrive after Raya’s departure while new additions in the final third are a priority with Sam Gallagher continuing to be linked to an Ewood Park return.