Tony Mowbray feels Danny Graham has become a ‘Plan B’ option for Rovers and doesn’t believe his lack of game-time is a coincidence of Bradley Dack’s injury.

Graham has started just one Championship fixture since the loss of partner in crime Dack in the 0-0 draw with Wigan on December 23.

That was the fifth game in six matches the 34-year-old had led the line, with Dack playing just off him, as they had done for the majority of the last two seasons.

But since opening the scoring at Huddersfield on December 29, the striker has been sent on in the final quarter of four matches in which Rovers were searching for a goal.

“I have talked a lot about trying to change the team and become a more technical team and play more football,” Mowbray said.

“With total respect to Danny he can’t close down with the same intensity as the two strikers we usually play so I don’t think it’s a Bradley Dack coincidence it’s just the way the team is transforming and progressing at this moment.

“I think Danny sometimes is almost like an easy option to hit 60-yard balls all time. If Dack isn’t around him it’s not easy.

“You have to add in that Danny Graham is 34-and-a-half years old, and while he won’t think about his age because he’s working hard in training, they’re different types of footballers, Adam Armstrong and Sam Gallagher to Danny Graham.

“You have to use the attributes and assets of a player when you feel it’s right. Danny came on after 65 minutes, why? Because we needed a goal.

“The game changed, they sat and protected, and you have more opportunities to play around their box whereas for 65 minutes you are trying to frustrate them in possession, take the ball off them, and for that you need athleticism and legs to put them under pressure.

“When a team starts to sit back and try and protect then it becomes more of a game for Danny because we can put more balls in to the box, more balls forward, whereas if you do that before you’re just giving them the ball back to attack you.”

With four creative players currently sidelined by injury, Rovers are searching for solutions in the final third, but Mowbray admits that doesn’t necessarily equate to a recall for Graham, who has three goals this season.

He added: You have to assess when you play forward, are you playing forward in to feet, to runners, direct to his head for him to knockdown to someone who’s’ around him.

“It’s very difficult to knock 60-yard balls and bring it down, control it, and secure the ball for the midfield players around you.

“There’s a lot more thought that goes in to it than just ‘let’s get it up to Danny who can get hold of it and bring everyone in to the game?’

“Graham and Dack in League One, we had a lot of the ball in the opposition half, we play a lot of diagonal balls in to Danny who’s brilliant with his body and can drop the ball down for Dack and he did what he did and scored 18 goals and Danny scored 17.

“The team has moved on and Danny, as I’ve said to him, he’s almost become a Plan B for us when we almost forget about the football and have to go more direct.

“Yet when you play direct football and you don’t get the rewards, you’re giving the ball away really and you have to be ready to be attacked. Against the best teams, they don’t give you the ball back very easily.

“Danny is very understanding, I have a very good relationship with him. If the strikers are scoring then he will sit on the bench, if they don’t then I think he’d think he needs an opportunity, we’ll wait and see if that comes.”