The Premier League last week voted against the continuation of allowing five substitutes per match, and squads of 20, and revert to the previous three, and 18-man matchday squads.

That was despite the International Football Association Board (IFAB) having given the green light for that to continue, having initially introduced it as a result of the packed post-lockdown schedule.

The EFL followed suit, allowing clubs to use five substitutes in the final nine games of each side’s Championship seasons, as well as the respective play-off campaigns.

The league is yet to announce its own plan for 2020/21, but as ever, will likely fall in line with the Premier League.

For Tony Mowbray, he says it matters little, and while he questioned the use of drinks break when the weather in matches clearly rendered them pointless, his view on the subs rule was less profound.

Judging by the stats, he is a manager who very much likes to freshen things up from the sidelines.

In all but one of Rovers’ last nine games, the win at Cardiff City, he used his five substitutes. Twice he made double substitutions at half time, and also twice made a quadruple substitution.

Five of the substitutions made were enforced, the earliest coming in the Leeds United defeat when Elliott Bennett was forced off with a dead leg in the 22nd minute.

But even when it was three substitutes permitted, Mowbray regularly used his allotted amount. In all but three of Rovers’ 37 matches pre-lockdown, he made all his allocated substitutes.

On two occasions he made two substitutions, with the other anomaly being the defeat at Preston North End where the late introduction of Danny Graham was his sole alteration.

The positive was that Mowbray’s subs scored nine goals last season, six more than in 2018/19.

“I don’t mind. I pick the team to try and win the game and then you make your substitutions to try and affect the game tactically when you need to, unless it’s a fatigue issue in this period which is why it was changed,” Mowbray said of the substitution rule.

“I’m just the coach and I’ll get on with it. If we can have nine substitutes, then I’ll name nine substitutes, if we have seven, we’ll have seven.

“Ideally you pick a team, you’re winning 3-0 and can give someone a rest for the next game.

“You pick the team to try and win the game, but there’s always two teams playing and the tactics unfold in front of you. Do you need to change something, do we change the whole shape as I have done?

“If that’s what the authorities decide you can do then you have to try and take advantage of that if you can.

“If not, we’ll get on with and we’ll pick an 11 and try and win the game, and if not, we’ll make changes.

“I haven’t got a strong view, I’ll abide by what they decide.”

One thing the nine-man subs bench did allow however, was the opportunity for more young players to be involved with the senior side.

Jack Vale was part of the squad at Barnsley, before making his debut against Reading in the final home game, and then again on the bench for the final day defeat at Luton Town.

Tyler Magloire was also back among the substitutes, as was Hayden Carter who  got his opportunity to start in the final two matches.

Rovers’ Academy prospects are expected to play a key role next season, with finances tight in current climate, whether that be with seven substitutes or nine.

Dan Butterworth will hope to put his back problems behind him to feature more regularly in the senior set-up, with Vale hoping to stay around the first-team picture.

Mowbray isn’t one to carry masses of players so to keep everyone involved in the first-team scenario. And he admitted the one benefit of the increased matchday squads was that it allowed fewer players to be sat in the stands watching on having not made the squad.

But Mowbray wants his players to be engaged and ready when their opportunity arises and they’re called upon.

He added: “For a manager it probably helps you keep your squad more engaged on matchday to have 20 players involved, that’s better than having 18 involved because you’re having less excess players.

“Rather than them not getting changed, or sitting in the stand, you can engage with them more and keep the group tighter.

“Some managers want loads of players, the managers who like small squads don’t want to be dealing with disenchanted players, players who have a little bit of a huff or sulk when they’re not involved. Others don’t care.

“To some managers footballers are just numbers, do the job. That’s football, I’ve been around it 40 years.

“You can just be a number to some managers, to others you’re part of the family. Somewhere inbetween I fit in, but everyone is different.”

Most used subs in 2019/20:

Danny Graham 24

John Buckley 15

Joe Rothwell 15

Sam Gallagher 14

Elliott Bennett 12

Lewis Holtby 11

Jacob Davenport 9