Rovers will look at loan signings in central defence to ease the pressure on Scott Wharton’s return and Daniel Ayala’s fitness.

Fitness concerns, Mowbray’s desire to have the flexibility to play a back three and to send Hayden Carter and Tyler Magloire out on loan are all factors in the search for new faces in defence.

Wharton has been out since December with a ruptured Achilles and Mowbray says the arrival of a new defender will give the 23-year-old time to get up to speed before looking to become a fixture in the side in the second half of the season.

Ayala is set to start consecutive Championship games for just the third time, with Rovers managing his fitness having sat out the Carabao Cup tie with Morecambe.

That has led to the prospect of possibly two defenders arriving before the window closes.

“Wharton is always factored in, but he’s not going to be joining back in with the group until maybe October,” Mowbray said.

“We’re thinking about loans for that position and when you get to January Wharton should then be up to speed and have played games and trained for a while and then come into equation.

“We have to factor Daniel into the equation and how he’s struggled to stay fit, yet this is the management of it, you sit down and talk to players about you see things going forward and right now I think we’ve got two centre halves who can do a really good job.

“You bring another one in and he thinks he’s leaving a Premier League club to play and if we stick to a back four then he might not be playing.

“These are the dilemmas of management.

“We’re working on the flexibility of a back three, for various reasons, whether a team is really direct and physical, or they’re really narrow and condense the space in the middle of the pitch and won’t be going out wide, and then we have to learn to be good in and out of possession if that’s how we’re going to move forward.

“I do feel we will be trying to sign another centre half, if not two, and let’s see how far the money goes and which ones drop in first.”

Rovers have been blighted by injuries in defence in each of the last three seasons and took steps to address them in January with the additions of loanees Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Jarrad Branthwaite.

With Lenihan and Ayala set to be first choice until at least Wharton’s return, Mowbray says finding suitable cover is no easy feat.

He said: “Nyambe always come into my mind with that because he plays centre half for his country and he’s obviously got the power and the pace to do that, and heading the ball has improved so much over the last couple of years.

“Ryan is that stop-gap centre half if needs be, but it has been a problem over the last few years.

“In an ideal world we’d sign a young up and coming one to compete with Wharton, Carter, Magloire and to drive that competition on and to see who comes out on top.

“But it’s not easy at the moment to find a young centre half for no money who can come in and do the job.”