Hayden Carter will use the experience of his productive loan spell at Burton Albion, and also those of manager Tony Mowbray, to help his progression in a bid to become a Rovers regular.

Carter is in line to make his ninth appearance of the season at Blackpool where Rovers could be forced into fielding a makeshift backline with Ryan Nyambe sidelined by concussion and captain Darragh Lenihan also set to miss out.

The 21-year-old has previously deputised at right-back for Nyambe, who missed three games earlier in the season with a hamstring injury, but it’s alongside Daniel Ayala in the centre of the Rovers defence where Carter is set to find himself this afternoon.

A 24-game spell at Burton Albion last season, in which he scored four times and finished second in the club’s player-of-the-year vote, has given Carter the confidence to make the step up to the Championship, with Mowbray taking a keen involvement in his development and passing on experiences of his playing days.

“He does a lot with us, as do Veno (Mark Venus), Damien (Johnson) and Lowey (David Lowe), we work on individual things in training every day, and after training, but I feel as though the gaffer talks about his past experience and how he dealt with his time as a young centre-half and I feel that does help me,” Carter said.

“The experience last season was the first real spell of first-team football that I’ve played, I feel as though I’m ready to continue playing and improving and trying to help the team. I’ll continue working hard on the things I need to improve on and hopefully continue in the side.

“Physically I feel strong, quick enough, at times earlier in the season, the Morecambe game comes to mind, they had a big lad up top, it’s how to use your physicality to help yourself in certain situations. I feel as though I’m strong and ready to keep playing.”

Mowbray has always preferred the club’s young central defenders to spend time out on loan, Scott Wharton having three seasons away from Ewood Park to build up his understanding of men’s football, with Tyler Magloire also having had three loan moves.

Carter had a host of clubs interested in his services during the summer window, but the injury to Wharton, and the late arrival of Jan Paul van Hecke, both who are expected to return to action in the coming weeks, meant those enquiries had to be rebuffed.

He has gone on to start four times this season, making a further three appearances off the bench, and has become a key member of the squad in the early weeks of the campaign.

“I’m happy with how the season has started for me personally. After a loan spell last year I got a feel of what it was like to play first-team football regularly so my aim was to come back here and hopefully carry that on in a higher division,” he explained.

“I’m happy with the start I’ve made and hopefully I can get a few more appearances and help the team move forward. If I get more opportunities I will look to take them.”

The biggest learning curve for Carter was how meaningful each game was, not least given Burton’s perilous position when he joined. However, his arrival coincided in an improvement in fortunes, the Academy graduate making an immediate impact with the winning goal on his debut at Gillingham where the Brewers collected their first clean sheet of the season.

Carter would go on to score four times across his 24 appearances in which they won 13 and kept nine clean sheets.

It was step-up from academy football for Carter, whose only senior experience prior to that were appearances in the final two games of Rovers’ 2019/20 Championship campaign.

“I loved every minute at Burton. As soon as I went in I could see how well run the club was, how tight everyone is, so I enjoyed it massively,” he added.

“Men’s football, knowing what it means to get three points, at the time Burton needed wins to get out of the relegation zone so it benefited me a lot with how meaningful games are.

“It’s a lot more intense than playing academy football and for the Under-23s.

“To get a few goals was nice, I could have probably had a few more, but I couldn’t complain with the four that I got.

“I enjoyed it a lot, the experience to work under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink who has a great past in the game.

“I enjoyed every minute and it’s put me in good stead for this season.”

Competition will not be far away for Rovers, with Lenihan’s absence set to extend over the international break, with Brighton loanee van Hecke and Wharton both on the comeback trail.

Carter feels that will only be a benefit to him, and the team, as he bids to keep his place in and around the squad.

He looks set to get another opportunity this afternoon, and says Rovers will look to use the disappointment of the sloppy goals conceded at Huddersfield Town in Tuesday’s 3-2 to focus their minds even more.

He said: “It was frustrating because we came back twice and lost a couple of sloppy goals that meant we couldn’t get a point out of it.

“We’ll take the disappointment from the other night and look to learn from it.

“We’re looking forward to Saturday, it’s a chance to put it right and we’ll look to do that.”

Blackpool away is not a new experience for Carter, the defender having scored in a 1-1 draw at Bloomfield Road in March, a game that had previously been postponed just an hour ahead of kick off.

And having come up against the Seasiders only six months ago, Carter knows the challenge today’s game presents.

“I thought they were a really good side, they had athleticism up front and were one of the best teams I played against while on loan, so I know it’ll be a tough game.

“It’s one we’re looking forward to.”