Daniel Ayala says ‘it won’t be a normal summer’ as he bids to play a bigger role in Rovers’ plans next season.

A final day outing against Birmingham City was just a 10th appearance of an injury-hit campaign for the Spaniard who joined as a free agent last September.

Game-time has been in short supply for the 30-year-old, who hadn’t featured since the opening day of 2020 before signing for Rovers eight months later after leaving Middlesbrough.

He’s since had three separate injury absences during the season, waiting until the final day to make his comeback outing having last appeared for the first-team at Huddersfield Town in December.

A 60 minute run-out for the Under-23s against Chelsea helped boost his fitness before he took his place on the bench for Rovers’ final game against Birmingham where he played the final half an hour, replacing Taylor Harwood-Bellis.

With the season now done, Ayala heads into a summer, and then pre-season, which he hopes will stand him in good stead to play a bigger part in 2021/22.

“It’s been a hard season, a lot of injuries one after the other, but obviously that’s football,” he told the club website.

“I was glad just to play some games and to go off into the summer and then have a good pre-season and then start really good next year.

“I was pushing to play and said to the gaffer that I wanted to play, even if it was just 10 or 20 minutes I wanted to get out there and play and feel the grass again.

“I have spoken to the fitness coach and it won’t be a normal summer, I will have to work really hard and make sure that I’m ready for pre-season.”