Tony Mowbray has indicated the signings Rovers make will dictate a preferred system and style of play.

Mowbray has outlined a plan to be adaptable with the formation used this season having stuck largely to 4-3-3 last term.

Rovers have started with a back three in their final two friendlies, but are expected to return to a flat back four for the opening day of the season.

A shortage of central defenders amid the ongoing fitness issues of Daniel Ayala and injury to Scott Wharton and lack of central midfield options are restricting the flexibility afforded to Mowbray.

However, the impending return of Joe Rankin-Costello from injury will offer extra versatility and the prospect of playing with a back three, moving Ryan Nyambe into a central area, should the manager wish.

He said: “I think the players we sign will dictate the system that we play and see what the next few weeks bring.”

Rankin-Costello had targeted the opening weekend of the season as his return date but is still a way short of being ready to make the matchday squad.

The opening Premier League 2 fixture against Everton at Ewood Park on Monday, August 16 has been earmarked a possibility for Rankin-Costello, with the Under-23s also in action four days later at Manchester City.

Meanwhile, Mowbray has stressed to his players that standards must remain high despite their inexperience.

Mowbray was critical of his side’s first half display at Bolton Wanderers but said he was mindful of the age of his side when addressing them at half-time as they trailed 1-0.

However, he admits that such a stance is necessary given the demands placed on his squad, and said they shouldn’t differ whether it be a pre-season friendly or the opening day of the season.

With Bradley Johnson out injured, and Daniel Ayala withdrawing from the squad on the day of the game, it left goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski and captain Darragh Lenihan as the most senior players in the squad.

The pair, along with Johnson and Ayala, are the only four players at the club aged over 25 after a raft of departures over the summer, and Mowbray says his young squad must learn quickly about what it takes to perform consistently under pressure.

The Rovers boss said: “You put into context the team, Darragh is 27, Thomas is 28, but after that it’s a team of kids really.

“As I was raising my voice at half time I’m conscious that I’m shouting at a bunch of kids really, they don’t know football yet, but it’s not a bad thing to be shouted at.

“I was shouted at as a young footballer and it’s trying to make them aware that we do this for a living, this is our lives, it will be yours for the next 10 or 15 years and every matchday is the most important day of your life.

“Whether you’re playing Bolton Wanderers in a pre-season friendly, Swansea City on the opening day or in a cup final or playing for your country, this is it and you have to be the very best version of yourself.

“A few of them dropped below that in the first half and it’s easy to do in pre-season.

“There’s a standard we have to set and it’s all based around hard work, endeavour and commitment.”