Tony Mowbray denied that leaving Bradley Johnson or Stewart Downing out of the squad had any saying on their futures at the club.

The experienced pair weren’t involved in the matchday squad as Rovers ran out 5-2 winners against Huddersfield Town as Mowbray rotated his midfielders.

Lewis Holtby was back in the squad having missed out against Sheffield Wednesday, while Jacob Davenport, John Buckley, Corry Evans and Tom Trybull have all had spells out of the matchday 20 in recent weeks.

As Mowbray opted to start Lewis Travis and Corry Evans as a midfield two, with Davenport, Buckley, Trybull and Holtby among the substitutes, it was Johnson and Downing who were left out.

Mowbray said that was the reason rather than anything to do with the contractual situations of the pair whose deals both expire in the summer.

Downing had missed games last month, but had featured in five of the previous six games before being left out against the Terriers. Johnson had played in seven successive games before being an unused substitute against Sheffield Wednesday and subsequently not involved against Huddersfield.

Mowbray had hinted that players being left out of the squad could be impacted by their contractual situation, stating that all players whose deals are set to expire had been informed of their futures.

When asked if that was the case with Downing and Johnson, Mowbray said: “No, that’s not at all. You feel I’ve been rotating players out of the squad.

“We have more than 20 players and we can only put 20 on the squad list so I had a chat with them and I’ve been looking Buckley, Davenport, Bennett, Bell, all out and it almost got round to their turn because I didn’t feel we needed Bradley Johnson’s physicality, and felt they were so fast on transition I didn’t see me putting Stewart Downing on in this game because (Juninho) Bacuna or (Lewis) O’Brien, who are very quick, could run beyond him.

“They were just decisions I made on who was going to be the bench on not.”