Rovers have to make League Two side Oldham Athletic feel their quality when they meet in tonight’s Carabao Cup first round.

That’s the view of boss Tony Mowbray who will shuffle his pack for the game at Ewood Park.

Rovers were among the goals in last season’s competition, beating Carlisle United and Lincoln City 5-1 and 4-1 respectively, before their run ended in round three at Bournemouth.

Having failed to manage a shot on target at Fulham on Saturday, and with only an own goal to show for their efforts so far this season, Mowbray is looking for his side to put on a dominant display against an Oldham side managed by former Monaco boss Laurent Banide.

“The secret when you play teams in the leagues below is to force them back with your quality,” Mowbray said.

“You have to have the ability to play the game in their half, ask questions of them and not make it an end-to-end football match.

“That’s what we’ll try and do. We’ll need to use our quality and that’s why we’ll have to have some experience and quality on the pitch to try and make the difference so it’s not a game where we’re hugely stretched defensively.

“We have full respect of Oldham. They have some players that I’m not fully aware of, other than from what I’ve been watching the last few days.

“They have some talented players and a coach who has coached at a very high level.

“We have to be respectful of them and pick a team we believe can get the job done.”

With Darragh Lenihan injured, Rovers are unlikely to risk Tosin Adarabioyo and Derrick Williams who started at Fulham, with Ryan Nyambe, Joe Grayson and Greg Cunningham expected to come in to the back four.

Richie Smallwood, yet to make a matchday squad, could also start, as could Corry Evans who has been an unused substitute in the opening two matches. 

Summer signing Sam Gallagher has got the nod in attack for the opening two Championship fixtures, but Danny Graham is under consideration to start against Oldham, and Mowbray is hoping those who do come in can take their opportunity.

Graham, who turned 34 yesterday, was player of the season in 2018/19 but has had to settle for two substitute appearances so far.

“If Danny comes in to the team and scores a hat-trick then there’s a fair chance he will start against Middlesbrough on Saturday,” Mowbray said of his bit-part role so far.

“Sam has had two opportunities to score now but he might argue that if he doesn’t play against Oldham and Danny does, he didn’t get that opportunity.

“But you still have to put the ball in the onion bag and Danny Graham has done that repeatedly for us during my tenure.

“I don’t sit here with pre-conceived ideas of who plays where and when, they all have to compete to get in the team and pick one that we feel might win each game.”