Sam Gallagher is in contention to make his first appearance in a Rovers matchday squad this season after training with the squad for the last week.

Gallagher hasn’t featured since the end of last season, when he scored in the final two matches, having struggled with a groin problem picked up on the eve of the Fleetwood Town friendly.

A space in the matchday squad has opened up with the injury to Joe Rankin-Costello which is set to sideline him for up to three weeks, and Gallagher could be the man to profit.

Gallagher’s absence has left Rovers short of attacking options within their 18-man squad, with Bradley Dack still yet to return to full training from his knee ligament injury, but the 25-year-old could be involved against the Bluebirds this weekend.

Gallagher started 28 league games last season, with a further 14 appearances off the bench, after his £5m move from Southampton and will look to put a frustrating start to this campaign behind him.

Daniel Ayala came through 60 minutes for the Under-23s in their win over Leicester City on Monday night as he continues to build his fitness up following his free transfer move.

The Spaniard travelled with the squad to Derby, as 19th man, and underwent some fitness drills ahead of the game, and may also be involved on the bench.

That’s because Scott Wharton is set to feature for the Under-23s against Manchester United on Friday (2pm) having not played any minutes since the Carabao Cup win over Doncaster in August.

He’s been an unused substitute in all four fixtures since, but will be given an opportunity for Billy Barr’s side, just as Jacob Davenport, John Buckley and Harry Chapman did on Monday night.

Another boost for Mowbray is that midfielder Corry Evans has also trained ahead of the game. He has been out since the opening day after suffering with a bruised foot.

“No, I think we’ll probably give Scotty Wharton a run-out for the Under-23s tomorrow,” Mowbray said when asked if Ayala would featured for the Under-23s.

“We have a lot of young central defenders, even with Magloire not available and Louie Annesley who’s gone away with Gibraltar.

“Daniel, I think there’s more benefit him getting more minutes on the training field, doing two sessions like we have been, rather than playing 60 minutes for the Under-23s.

“That was a good benefit to him, but we’ll make the decisions that we feel is right, but sometimes I think it’s better to train for longer than you’d play in a match.

“He might as well have two one-and-a-half hour training sessions so he won’t be playing tomorrow.

“Corry Evans is coming back for his first day today, Sam Gallagher has trained this week.

“As long as he (Gallagher) comes through training this week, he trained at the end of last week, so he’ll be in some sort of contention if he comes through.”