Joe Hilton accepts a tough test lies ahead in a bid to make the grade at Rovers as he looks to forge a reputation for himself out on loan.

Hilton was loaned to Scottish Championship side Hamilton Academical in the summer, but he has been restricted to cup appearance since agreeing a season-long switch.

The ‘keeper finished last season with Ross County in the Scottish Premiership, but returned to Rovers without making a senior appearance.

Having moved to Rovers in 2019 from Everton, he is part of a growing crop of keepers at the club, with Aidan Dowling, Antonis Stergiakis and Jordan Eastham all competing behind No.1 Thomas Kaminski and back-up option Aynsley Pears.

He was loaned to Fleetwood Town on an emergency basis last season, before his first move north of the border.

And Hilton, who is contracted at Rovers until 2023, said: “There are a lot of goalkeepers at Blackburn. It's quite difficult.

“I just have to do the best for myself. I believe in my ability and I need to use experiences like this to build myself up.

“When I do go back there, I will have a bit more backing behind me. I will have played more senior games, played with better players. It will stand me in good stead.”

East Lancashire born Ryan Fulton is currently ahead of Hilton in the pecking order, but he says he will continue to strive for more regular game-time.

He told the Daily Record: “If I was a central midfielder, I could rotate, but you need stability with the goalkeeper. I just need to work hard each day.

“It's the life of a keeper, there can only be one of you playing at a time.

"Everyone is fighting for each other - pushing each other on - to see who plays. That's how it is at the end of the day.

"For me, I am learning each day. You see the same things when you are in an Academy. To come into a place where there are so many different things to see, it just helps you out.”