Tony Mowbray says Rovers must be adaptable and has hinted different formations will be used throughout the season.

Mowbray extensively used 4-3-3 last season, with much of his previous time in charge centred around using Bradley Dack in a No.10 role as part of a 4-2-3-1 shape.

With Dack absent, Mowbray has switched to three central midfielders but moved away from that for the final two friendlies, against Leeds United and Bolton Wanderers, by going with a back three.

Hayden Carter and Tyler Magloire took up positions either side of captain Darragh Lenihan with Ryan Nyambe and new addition Harry Pickering used in the wing-back positions.

However, it was the switch to the more familiar 4-3-3 that brought a change of fortunes against Wanderers as Ben Brereton scored twice as Rovers came from 2-0 down to earn a draw.

Mowbray says a shortage of options in pre-season, brought on by unavailability and a lack of replacements for outgoing players, was behind the changes, but also with a view to what could unfold as the season goes on.

“We have to be adaptable to be able to do both, and more than just those shapes,” he explained.

“We have to be adaptable to play with two strikers, then playing Dack where he is best, football teams have to be adaptable and at this moment we’re looking at formations with the players that we’ve got.

“In pre-season we’ve had a pretty poor selection of options”.

Goals had been hard to come by for Rovers in their opening four friendlies, with Connor McBride netting in the win at AFC Fylde and draw with Leeds, while they failed to trouble the scorers against Bradford City and Everton, and Mowbray is eyeing improvement.

However, the final half an hour at Bolton was the most fluent attacking play Rovers had put together across their friendlies, with Ben Brereton netting twice.

That came after the formation switch, with Mowbray revealing it was always his plan to use both a back three, and back four, plans that didn’t change despite the late withdrawal of Daniel Ayala.

“We had a look at both formations which was the plan," he added.

“We scored twice playing 4-3-3 and we have to know which games suit which formation and have the players available to be able to try and win games as we go on.

“We seemed to have a lot of half opportunities, not clinical enough. Adam (Armstrong) is not quite on the button at the moment but we’ll see how that goes.

“Again, two young centre halves playing alongside the only fit and available senior centre half.

“It was more of a challenge for them trying to help break down a League One team rather than trying to see the game out against a Premier League team.”