Tony Mowbray has got his wish with the return of the five substitutes ruling from this weekend and for the remainder of the season.

Rovers have so far squeezed in 11 Championship fixtures since the season got underway on two months ago, as well as two international breaks in that time.

They return to action at Luton Town this weekend and face a run of nine games in less than a month as a condensed Championship season gathers even more pace.

Mowbray branded the schedule ‘madness’ and has seen his squad affected by both injuries and Covid-related absences in the early months of the campaign.

He hopes they will ease by the time Rovers return to action at Kenilworth Road on Saturday, and beyond, with much resting on the results of the team’s Covid-testing programme on Thursday.

The return to five substitutes, that was in place for the final nine games of last season, has gathered pace in recent weeks, and the EFL has agreed to its return, though the Premier League looks to holding firm.

That will please Mowbray who, speaking earlier this month, said: “I did subscribe to it. We have all had a vote and I definitely voted to keep it.

“I don’t understand the reasons why, I know some said it gave an advantage to the big clubs, but I don’t think so.

“We’re in the middle of a pandemic, we have had a shortened pre-season of only three weeks.

“This is a professional game and you’re asking players to run and chase and fight and put their bodies on the line every three days. It’s madness to ask the same players to play every three days.

“Now, because the Premier League managers are saying it, it becomes a story. I know which way I voted three months ago.”

The statistics back up Mowbray’s desire for the five substitutes ruling. In the nine games they were available he used all five on eight out of nine occasions, twice making quadruple substitutions.

He’s used all three allotted substitutes in 11 matches this season, and in 34 out of the 37 matches last season.

Matchday squads would also rise from 18 to 20.

An EFL statement read: Following consultation with Clubs, the EFL Board has agreed to increase the permitted number of substitutes to five in all Sky Bet EFL fixtures taking place from 12 noon on Friday, November 20 for the remainder of the 2020/21 season.

Regulation 33.4 has been amended to permit:

  • Championship Clubs to name up to nine substitutes in their matchday squad, with five permitted to take to the pitch in any fixture.
  • League One and League Two Clubs to name up to seven substitutes in their matchday squad, again with five permitted to take to the pitch.