Sam Hart is embracing his extended run in the side in pre-season, but could still be set for another loan spell away from Ewood Park.

Signed from Liverpool in 2017, Hart hasn't made a competitive appearance for Rovers since December of that year and has had two separate loan spells with Rochdale and a productive one with Southend.

The 22-year-old was handed another 12 month deal in January as Rovers continue to monitor his progress.

With left-backs Amari'i Bell and Derrick Williams yet to feature in pre-season because of injury, Hart has played all but 45 minutes of the matches so far and is line to start Sunday's friendly at Rangers.

“Obviously there have been a couple of injuries at the minute which have forced me to do that but fitness is the most important thing," Hart told the Lancashire Telegraph.

“Getting minutes on the pitch, I feel I’ve done well, so hopefully I’m in the manager’s thoughts.

“I’ve obviously gained lots of experience through my different loan spells at Rochdale and Southend.

“I’ve been enjoying my football but obviously all of my focus now is on Blackburn.

“We’ll see what happens.”

Rovers are expected to welcome back Danny Graham, Elliott Bennett and Corry Evans to their squad for the trip to Ibrox having missed the 3-1 win at Mansfield on Wednesday.

Bell and Williams aren't expected to return however, though Mowbray admits their absence is the main reason for Hart's pre-season minutes.

He said: “Sam Hart is a young boy we signed from Liverpool. He’s been away on loan for a little bit.

“There’s a chance he will go out on loan again once Amari’i and Derrick Williams are back fit.

“But he’s showing us the attributes of why we signed him. He has a physicality that means he can run all day, he’s got a good left foot, he can win headers, he’s strong, a decent footballer.

“But with Amari’i Bell and Derrick Williams competing in front of him it might mean another spell out on loan but we’ll wait and see.”

Hart was pleased with the new deal, an extended chance to show Mowbray what he can do.

“I had a week at Blackburn before I went to Southend and tried as hard as I could to show what I can do,” he said.

“Luckily for me I got an extra year and then went to Southend and hopefully flourished there.

“I'm just taking it day by day, working as hard as I can and trying to show the manager what I can do.

“Come the start of the season we’ll have a chat and whatever happens, happens.”

The best of his three loan spells came at Southend where he became a fans favourite in his 18 appearances for the Blues as they escaped relegation from League One.

They are likely to lead the list of clubs keen to sign him, should he become available, and Hart said: “I definitely loved it.

“I felt I really matured because a lot of things changed for me. I lived five hours away from home which I’d never done.

“The football side, I loved it. I played week in, week out with a good group of lads.”