Tony Mowbray hopes Danny Graham can enjoy the final years of his playing career believing that a bit-part role at Rovers wouldn’t have been ideal for the 34-year-old frontman.

Graham’s four-and-a-half year association with Rovers has now ended, with the striker one of five players released by the club at the end of his contract which was extended to the end of the season.

He leaves nine games short of a double century for the club in which he has scored 57 times, 38 of which have come since Mowbray took charge in February 2017.

Graham’s run of 108 consecutive appearances in a Rovers matchday squad was ended by his absence from the teamsheet against Reading last week, but he was back at Luton Town where he made career appearance number 600 when introduced off the bench.

That is a role Graham has had to get used to, with 24 of his 38 Championship appearances this season coming as a substitute, the most in the squad by some way.

That was a pattern that Mowbray could likely see continuing, and one which ultimately saw the player and club part ways with a mutual respect.

Rovers also lost an attacking option with the departure of Dominic Samuel after three years, but have invested almost £14m in their frontline since Mowbray’s arrival with the signings of Bradley Dack, Adam Armstrong, Ben Brereton and Sam Gallagher.

And Mowbray that quartet can help take the club forward, while acknowledging the excellent contribution Graham has made during his stay at Ewood Park.

“It’s always difficult to let almost guaranteed goals disappear. He wants to enjoy his football and I don’t think Danny Graham would enjoy being a bit part player,” he told the club website.

“Danny Graham is a figurehead, a top guy, a top man and he needs to feel like the man I think.

“He needs to stick the No.9 on his back and go and score goals, and that’s what I think.

“I think he needs to go somewhere for a couple of years and score a few goals, and I don’t mind if he gets in the Championship and scores goals, if he scores against us as long as we win 5-1, I don’t mind.

“I’ve said to him there’s no agenda, I want him to enjoy his career, because as he gets older, his career is coming to an end, whether that’s next year, the year after, Danny thinks if he stays fit and he works hard he can play for another two or three years.

“I hope he goes and gets another 50 goals and I don’t say that lightly, I think he’s a huge credit to himself and the football club in his period here and I hope he can go and enjoy his football before his career finishes.”