There is a Stewart Downing-shaped vacancy in the Rovers squad after submitting the names of 24 players to the EFL.

Rovers had to submit their 25-man squad to the EFL by close of play on Tuesday, which had to include eight home grown players.

Those born after January 1 1999 didn’t count towards the figure, with Ben Brereton, John Buckley, Tyrhys Dolan, Antonis Stergiakis and Joe Rankin-Costello all exempt from being counted towards the overall figure.

Rovers’ squad was boosted by the additions of four deadline day signings, including 17-year-old Harvey Elliott, though due to him being on loan from Liverpool, he will count towards the overall figure.

Downing is a free agent, so could sign outside of the transfer window, and with Rovers not having got a full compliment of players in their squad, could still add to it.

That seems likely as things stand, with Downing still without a club since leaving Rovers in July at the end of his previous contract.

Mowbray said: “We’ve named 24 and left a space open, the additions of out of contract can get added.

“At this moment we’ve left a space open and if we fill it then we fill it.

“It’s not a priority, that’s going to Watford and looking to find a performance that gets us a result.”

Downing featured in every matchday squad for Rovers until the final day at Luton when his future hung in the balance.

Mowbray has maintained contact with Downing since the end of the season, with the former England international keen on a return to Ewood Park.

Any deal would need to fit into Rovers’ remaining coffers, with Mowbray having felt the need to prioritise other areas of the pitch in the window before considering a return for Downing.

But with Downing keen to play on for another season, and willing to do so at a price that would fit Rovers’ budget, it is expected that he will sign on for another year.

Mowbray said: “I spoke to Stewart and he knows all the financial stuff really, so let's wait and see. We'll see what the future brings.

"If he joins that would be great, if he doesn't then that's life.

"At this moment we're happy with the squad, we're moving forward and for me at the minute I'm focusing on integrating the new players and how we play, how we function with very little time to do it on the grass.”

Brad Lyons was the next man in line to be included in the squad for the weekend game with Nottingham Forest, and was handed a squad number.

The midfielder would qualify towards the quota, as would Tyler Magloire who also has a squad number.

They would add to a squad list which would also include: Thomas Kaminski, Aynsley Pears, Elliott Bennett, Ryan Nyambe, Darragh Lenihan, Daniel Ayala, Derrick Williams, Scott Wharton, Amari’i Bell, Barry Douglas, Lewis Travis, Corry Evans, Bradley Johnson, Tom Trybull, Jacob Davenport, Lewis Holtby, Joe Rothwell, Bradley Dack, Harry Chapman, Harvey Elliott, Adam Armstrong, Sam Gallagher.