Rovers have an injury crisis in attack but it’s at the back where Tony Mowbray believes keeping key players fit will have a big say in their final league position.

Mowbray will be without eight first-team players at Charlton but has been able to name a consistent backline in recent weeks.

Christian Walton has been an ever present in goal, Amari’i Bell has started every game in 2020 at left back while Ryan Nyambe has started 17 of the last 20 matches at right back.

But it’s in the heart of the defence where Mowbray is keen to keep the consistent partnership of Darragh Lenihan and Tosin Adarabioyo, the pair having partnered each other for 14 of Rovers’ last 16 games.

It’s the consistency Mowbray has craved, with Rovers’ season falling away 12 months ago because of disruptions to the back four through injury. And Mowbray feels an injury-free backline could have a big say in where Rovers end up.

He told the Lancashire Telegraph: “I think it can disrupt everything, as it did this time last year, we won one in 11 because we lost some pretty important defenders.

“With the attackers, you might not score as many or be as creative, as we found for 70-odd minutes the other night, because at half time I was thinking it was a day for a bit of individuality around the box, a bit of class, high quality that we were missing.

“I thought the build-up play to get around the edge of the box was good and we got in to some great areas.

“But defensively when you’re chucking goals in because you’re finding it hard to deal with speed, physicality, technical players, wingers crossing balls in, whatever it might be, we were struggling to deal with that.

“It’s difficult to come from goals behind if you’re throwing goals in at the other end and fingers crossed for the core of that defence to stay fit and strong this season.

“Let’s hope it’s 14 of the next 14 that they all stay fit and I think that will reflect the results and where we end up finishing.”

Adarabioyo and Lenihan have both had injury concerns this season, with a muscle injury ruling out the Manchester City loanee of two of the festive fixtures.

The 22-year-old also started just two of the opening 10 Championship matches, but has since developed in to a key member of the side.

Meanwhile Lenihan, who has three goals in his last five matches, has missed six matches this season, with Rovers picking up just four points in the process.

The 25-year-old also missed 11 games last year, in which Rovers picked up just eight points.

Derrick Williams is waiting in the wings for an opportunity, and would be first in line should either central defender suffer an injury, or Lenihan pick up two more bookings in the next five matches which would lead to a two-match ban.

Charlie Mulgrew is back at the club, after cutting short his season-long loan deal at Wigan, but the 33-year-old is yet to feature in a matchday squad since returning, despite being fully fit and having trained with the squad for the last two weeks.