Tony Mowbray says Rovers will need to match Stoke City's desire for points as they battle at opposite ends of the table.

While Stoke arrive at Ewood Park looking to move clear of the threat of relegation, Rovers have eyes on keeping up their push for a top six spot.

Michael O'Neill's side have won four of their last seven matches to boost their survival hopes, while 14 points from the last 21 available has seen Rovers move in to play-off contention.

And Mowbray said: “What we will face is a team with a lot of desire, a real thirst to drag themselves away from the bottom three, and we have to show the same desire and thirst to keep our points tally ticking along at the top end and try and apply real pressure to Preston, Bristol City and all the other teams in and around the top six.

“Stoke are fighting for their lives at the bottom end of the table, with lots of players who have played in the Premier League.

“I look at their results, they scored five at Huddersfield, four at Barnsley, beat Charlton, won 2-0 at the weekend, yet they’ve obviously had some adverse results.

“For me, as always, it’s about us and we have to get on the front foot, have to be positive, ask questions of them defensively, be resolute and dominant defensive ourselves and see how we get on.”

Stoke have picked up under O'Neill, but their form has remained inconsistent.

However, with the likes of Nick Powell and Joe Allen in their ranks, Mowbray knows the individual quality the visitors will possess.

He added: “I think I know what Stoke are about, I’ve studied them a lot these last few days. They have some very talented individuals that are allowing them to win some football matches. They can look very dominant on the front foot with high quality players making the right decisions on the ball.

“Yet they can look vulnerable when you’re attacking them.

“What Stoke have found since Michael O’Neill has come in is some high level performances yet then when they go away and get beat, it sets them back.

“As we found three years ago, we could find a way to win some really tight matches but we struggled to get away from the bottom because when you lose you seem to drop three places back to where you were.

“I think that’s what Stoke have done. They have found a way of winning some matches then the defeats when they come have put them back in the mix at the bottom."