Rovers Mowbray wants the addition of Lewis Holtby to propel expectation levels at the club and boost their push for a top six spot.

Free agent Holtby signed a two-year deal after leaving Hamburg and became the seventh fresh face through the door since last season.

Mowbray is targeting a top six challenge for Rovers and although admitting the arrival of Holtby provides him with a selection headache, and while there may be casualties along the way, the boss believes those conundrums are needed if the team are to progress. After last season’s 15th-placed finish, Rovers moved in to the top half of the table with last weekend’s win over Millwall and face a trip to Reading this weekend.

Mowbray is two-and-a-half years in to his role at Ewood Park and feels there has been real progression in the squad over that time.

“We’re trying to create depth in the squad, competition for places,” the boss said.

“If anything I’m giving myself a problem with selecting the team with the deepness of the squad, but that can’t be a reason not to do it.

“If the right player comes along you have to create competition and not worry about the matchday 18, this team has to try and win games and be at the right end of the table.

“There might be casualties along the way, but that’s my job to keep strengthening Blackburn Rovers, putting us in a position to challenge to get out of this league.”

Mowbray took over at Rovers in February 2017 with the club battling to stay in the Championship.

A haul of 22 points from the final 15 games wasn’t enough to save them, but they bounced back with immediate promotion from League One before stabilising back in the Championship last term.

Mowbray’s next challenge is to push the club back towards the Premier League, with this their eighth season outside of the top-flight.

Rovers were able to sign the three-times capped German international outside of the transfer window due to him being without a club and he has experience of playing in England with Tottenham and Fulham.

Mowbray has now had five transfer windows in charge and can see progress across the squad.

“When I first arrived, there were six or seven centre halves, thinking back to Greer, Brown, Hoban, Lenihan, Mulgrew, Ward, there were centre halves everywhere in the building,” he added.

“We had some good, experienced players, but it was starting to be an ageing group.

“I think the balance of this squad is alright. There’s some experienced in there but also some young, athletic, fast, hungry footballers as well.

“The job now is to try and push on to a point where, as I’ve said before, we go in to games expecting to win them, not hoping to win them.

“You are going to places expecting to win because of the quality of your players, it becomes a mentality change.

“Sometimes that can take a bit of time to get in to them. I’ve been at football clubs where a draw away from home isn’t good enough, that’s only a mentality you create, how you talk in the media, the subliminal messages to the players.

“We’re trying to put the club in that position so there should be no grey areas. If we can sign good players, and it’s within budget, if they’re available and want to come, then let’s do it and try and improve.”