Hayden Carter has done things the hard way but Under-23s boss Billy Barr feels the Rovers defender is putting himself in a good position for next season.

Carter has shone on loan at Burton Albion in his 14 appearances and played a key part in the Brewers’ impressive turnaround in form.

The move has allowed the 21-year-old to build up invaluable experience, after just one appearance in the first half of Rovers’ season despite starting the final two matches of the 2019/20 campaign.

Carter is part of a group of centre-half prospects out on loan, alongside Tyler Magloire and Joe Grayson, with Tony Mowbray keeping a close eye on the trio.

And Barr feels Carter in particular is making a name for himself.

He told the Lancashire Telegraph: “For what he’s done so far, I don’t think there would be many clubs that wouldn’t take him on seeing him, he’s 6’4, he can run, he’s scoring goals, he’s in a really good place.”

Carter has taken time to make it onto the first-team after having to wait for his chance to break into the Under-23s side.

It is 13 months since he was first part of a senior matchday squad, with his first-team debut coming against Reading in July as Rovers opted to rest Tosin Adarabioyo for the final two matches ahead of his return to Manchester City.

Rovers allowed Carter to leave on loan in January, instead opting to bring in Jarrad Branthwaite and Taylor Harwood-Bellis on loan, from Everton and Manchester City, respectively.

That has allowed Carter the opportunity to play every minute of Burton’s League One fixtures, in which he’s scored three goals and been a key part in the defensive improvement that has dragged them out of the relegation places.

“Hayden has had to work really hard, on many things,” Barr said,

“When you see what he’s doing now, all of that hard work is paying off. He’s forging a name for himself.

“Hopefully he comes back to our club and performs for us, but it could be that he ends up going to another club on loan, we don’t know.”

His time in the Under-18s even saw him have a spell as a centre forward, while wing back was where he first broke into the Under-23s set-up.

He took advantage of injuries to both Magloire and Grayson, who had made their senior debuts in March 2019 and August 2018 respectively, to play in the final two games of last season, only himself to miss part of pre-season.

But Barr feels the experiences he’s had, and the positions he’s played in, can stand him in good stead moving forward, with still another year to run on his contract at Ewood Park.

“He’s that versatile that he can play anywhere. He’s showing that,” he explained. “We think a lot of him and that versatility could be the thing that keeps him at our club down the line.”