John Buckley believes he can crack it in the middle of Rovers’ midfield despite his recent outings coming at right back.

Buckley has featured in every matchday squad this season, one of only two players to do so, but has made just one Championship start.

He is Rovers’ most used substitute this season, but is eyeing an increase in his number of starts, though does feel the backing of manager Tony Mowbray.

The 21-year-old featured in the FA Cup defeat to Doncaster at right back, where he also appeared off the bench against Huddersfield Town and Stoke City, but Buckley maintains his preference to play in central midfield where Rovers aren’t short of options.

“We’ve got a lot of midfielders but I know that I’m good enough to be playing in there,” he told the Lancashire Telegraph.

“When I do play I just have to do my best to try and get a good run of games and know that I’m good enough to do that.

“It’s good to be involved, but I just want to get a few more starts, keep knocking on the door, keep training well, but it shows the manager does have that faith in me.”

Barry Douglas started Rovers’ last Championship match at right back, a position that has caused Mowbray issues of late, with Ryan Nyambe self-isolating, and Joe Rankin-Costello and Elliott Bennett injured.

That has led to Buckley also operating on the right of the defence, though Rovers hope to have Nyambe back available for the weekend visit of Stoke City.

They are also working to further add to their defensive options for the visit of the Potters with the loan signing of Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite.

Competition will only hot up for a spot in the Rovers matchday squad as more players return from injury, with club captain Bennett making good progress from the ankle injury that has sidelined him since October.

That could challenge Buckley’s place for a spot in the 20-man squad, with him and Tyrhys Dolan the only players to have been involved in every Championship fixture so far.

Though the Academy graduate hopes his flexibility to play at right back can work in his favour.

“It’s another option for me, the more positions I play the better.

“I think it’s only going to help me.

“I still myself as a midfielder, but playing in other positions is only going to help me.

Buckley has experience of playing in that position for the Under-23s when making his way under Damien Johnson, and admits it is a demanding role.

“It was only a couple of games, and it was more wing-back, but it will only help me in the long run,” Buckley added.

“Playing there, we try and play as high as possible to be an option, an outlet, and it’s a demanding position physically, getting up and down.

“It’s a tough position.”