Rovers have used this week as an opportunity for Harry Pickering to train with his soon-to-be team-mates.

Pickering was signed in the winter window but loaned back to Crewe Alexandra where he has played every minute of their last 19 games since returning to the club as a loanee after signing permanently for Rovers.

He has since returned to Crewe and will make his 167th, and final, appearance for the club against Shrewsbury Town on Sunday.

Tony Mowbray says he has studied Pickering in close detail during his time back at the Alex but felt the chance to meet up with his new team-mates, and get accustomed to the surroundings of the Brockhall training base, would be a positive step to take before going into the summer.

The 22-year-old left back is expected to be a big part of Rovers’ plans moving forward, having signed a long-term deal when joining for around £600,000, and Mowbray is delighted to have him on board.

He said: “We saw an opportunity, we spoke to their manager, David Artell, they can’t make the play-offs and they aren’t getting relegated, so could he spend a few days training with his new team-mates ahead of next season.

“They were happy to allow that to happen.

“He’s gone back to train with them in preparation for their last game of the season on Sunday.

“He had two really productive days training getting to know the lads.

“I watch all of his clips every week so I know what type of footballer he is but it was good to see him on the training ground and good for our lads to see this lad from Crewe coming in and joining in with the group and doing well.

“He’s got lots of enthusiasm, he’s captained their team, has a lovely left foot and he’s enjoyed his few days. He’s a nice lad with a good character and personality.”

Pickering has continued to captain Crewe even despite his loan status, and manager Artell says he never once questioned the professionalism of the Academy graduate.

As for the player, he’s maintained contact with Rovers throughout his time at the Alexandra Stadium, with assistant manager Mark Venus having travelled to watch him on several occasions.

But he felt the chance to travel to East Lancashire and train with the team was a positive step to take and has whetted his appetite ahead of pre-season where he become a fully-fledged member of the squad.

“I got a call off the gaffer to come down, meet the lads and have a few days training with the team,” Pickering added.

“I’d only met some of the staff before but none of the players so it’s been good to come in and meet everyone.

“It’s a big help to come in and get to know the lads now and I’m happy to have got the opportunity to do that.

“I’m just looking forward to the end of the season now after enjoying the last few months at Crewe.”

After signing for Rovers on deadline day, he played for Crewe the following day against Shrewsbury Town who they host in their final fixture.

That could see Pickering come up against Harry Chapman, one of a host of young Rovers players who were loaned out in the last transfer window.

Chapman has impressed for the Shrews, scoring seven times, with Rovers set to trigger the 12-month option in his contract that will see him be a part of their first-team plans moving forward should he impress in pre-season.