Tony Mowbray says Harry Chapman ‘is always going to be an option’ for Rovers but must concentrate on getting himself fully fit.

Chapman picked up a slight injury during the pre-season training camp in Austria and didn’t feature in any of the first-team friendlies. However, he has featured in one behind closed doors game, and in the last two Under-23s matches, and could get further minutes at Lancaster City tonight.

The flying winger is a firm favourite with supporters and featured off the bench in the final two Championship matches of last season after joining from Middlesbrough in January.

“He got injured on day one of pre-season so he missed all of Austria which was real frustration for him and us,” Mowbray said.

“He is always going to be an option, when he is fit and ready he will be on the cusp of it and as I have always said he is still a young player.

“Everyone seems to ask me about Harry because he can on his day be exceptional and beat lots of men and create things so he has to get fit, bide his time and wait.”

Chapman played 16 times on loan for Rovers in the League One promotion campaign, a spell which was cut short by two long-term hamstring injuries.

The former England youth international has made just two senior appearances since the first of those in October 2017.

Mowbray handed Chapman just one league start during his loan spell, despite calls from fans for to him feature more regularly. And he senses a similar scenario could be around the corner once he is fully match fit.

“Having been through it before the crescendo will build of ‘get Chapman in’ so let’s wait and see,” the Rovers boss added.

“He is a young boy who is an X factor for us because on his day he can make the difference, beat three men, cut the ball back and someone will score.

“Other days he will keep losing it but that is his type of football - agility, quick, fast winger.”

Rovers start their Championship campaign with a home game against Charlton.

They will do so on the back of an unbeaten pre-season and a productive week-long training camp in Austria in June.

Assessing his squad, Mowbray said: “Pre-season is pre-season, they go through spells where they look a bit drained and tired because the days before games they have been working hard.

“We don’t slowly build up and let them have a relaxing day before they play, they have heavy legs and play football.

“But now we have to target each game day, build it up, take it down and take the tempo out of it and let them explode on match day hopefully.

“That is how you do it in football, it is like training a race horse for the big race.”