Andrew Fisher will return from his loan spell with Northampton Town next month and his appearances for Rovers Under-23s have been to protect Joe Hilton from possible injury.

Fisher has been third choice at Rovers for the last two seasons but made a loan switch to the League Two side in August.

Despite making three Trophy appearances, he has been an unused sub in 13 League Two matchday squads and not featured in any of the last five matches at all.

The 21-year-old has since played twice for Rovers Under-23s, in the International Cup defeat to Benfica and then the Premier League Cup win over Burnley where he made three fine saves.

Fisher, who spent time with FC United of Manchester last season, is expected to keep the gloves for Friday’s game at Arsenal, with boss Billy Barr saying that is also with a focus on the first-team.

Joe Hilton has played every game in Fisher’s absence for the Under-23s since joining from Everton, but with Fisher unavailable for first-team duty until his Northampton loan expires and Christian Walton and Jayson Leutwiler the only two senior goalkeeping options at the club, Barr says no risks will be taken going in to the busy festive period.

Rovers are scouring the market for a long-term No.1, with Walton on a season-long loan from Premier League club Brighton, with no permanent option, while Leutwiler's contract, extended by 12 months in the summer, expires next June. 

The immediate fututre of Fisher, under contract until 2021, could well hinge on Rovers' success to find a new goalkeeper when the transfer window re-opens next month.

“Within the loan he can come back and play for us,” Barr said of Fisher.

“He’s gone out and not played a lot of games, Joe Hilton has played a lot of games.

“We’re coming up to a busy Christmas period. Fish can’t be involved with the first team, Joe is only an injury away from being involved.

“So it’s protection for Joe but also a little bit of game-time for Fish as well.”

  • Rovers youngster Jack Evans has joined Lancaster City on loan as he continues his comeback from long-term injury.

Evans joins the Northern Premier League Premier Division side until January having been out of action for over 12 months.

The teenager returned for the Premier League International Cup clash against Benfica Under-23s at Leyland last month, and played 90 minutes for the Dolly Blues in their Lancashire Challenge Trophy win over Radcliffe Borough on Tuesday night.

Evans will be looking to build on his performance when Lancaster travel to Buxton this weekend, one of six league matches he could feature in before his loan expires on January 4.

Speaking after his long return from injury in the Benfica defeat, Barr said: “I thought he started as you would after a year out, his match sharpness, but I thought he grew in to the game.

“You know what you’re getting out of Jack.

“I asked him how he was at half time and he said ‘I’m alright, I’ll play 90 minutes.

“He’s that sort of character. The other stuff will come just by playing games.

“I took him off in the end, just trying to put an attacker on. There was only minutes left and we had to win the game.”

  • Tom White is enjoying playing regular football again at National League leaders Barrow.

White has played four times since making a loan switch from Rovers that will run until January.

The 22-year-old is no stranger to that level, having played for Gateshead before making the move to Ewood Park where he was a regular for the Under-23s in the early weeks of the season.

But keen to play competitive football White, who signed a two-year deal at Rovers, jumped at the chance to join Barrow who were keen to sign him on a permanent deal in the summer.

He has played four times in all, with Ian Evatt’s side three points clear at the top of the table.

And speaking to the NW Mail, White added: “The summer was a difficult one for me because I obviously played against Barrow two times last year and I thought they were one of the best teams in the league.

"I actually played Barrow in the last game of the season for Gateshead and the gaffer came and had a little word with me literally after the game.

"That meant a lot because he's doing a brilliant job here and as soon as he came back in with the opportunity of a loan, I jumped at the chance to work with him.

"Right now, I'm just taking each match as it comes.

"Other people can get excited and the fans keep turning up in their numbers to support us, which is a massive help, and we just need to keep concentrating on doing what we've been doing."