Tony Mowbray feels his Rovers squad is in need of reinforcements to stop it becoming any more stretched.

Rovers were already without Ryan Nyambe, Scott Wharton and Harry Pickering for the FA Cup tie at Wigan Athletic when Darragh Lenihan and Sam Gallagher were both forced off injured.

With two of the four loanees signed last summer not at the club, with Leighton Clarkson having returned to Liverpool and Ian Poveda back with Leeds United to undergo rehabilitation on an ankle injury, Rovers’ numbers have shrunk as the season has gone on.

Right back Deyovaisio Zeefuik is set to complete a loan move from Hertha Berlin this week to boost the numbers, while Rovers remain keen on a move for Aberdeen forward Ryan Hedges.

There is the chance of that being this month for a small six-figure fee, or if that cannot be agreed, then on a pre-contract deal that would see him arrive at Ewood Park in the summer.

There is a similar prospect in the pursuit of Hearts defender John Souttar.

Mowbray says other deals are being looked at to ensure that Rovers don’t leave themselves short of options in the second half of the campaign in a bid to maintain their status as a promotion-chaser.

With nine substitutes available in the FA Cup, 16-year-old Ash Phillips and 17-year-old Adam Wharton were included in a matchday squad, while Jake Garrett was another teenager to feature on the bench.

And Mowbray said: “We need reinforcements, it’s looking stretched.

“We’re working on them.

“We’re negotiating a few situations with clubs. Let’s wait and see.

“We aren’t going to spend millions on players, we’re trying to add to what we’ve got.

“You’ve seen how tight they group has been, we’ve been fortunate with Covid and injuries but I know they’re coming.

“It would be sad to just drift away into mid-table because we can’t put a team out that can win football matches.”

Mowbray made five changes for the FA Cup defeat at Wigan and said that a lack of options prevented him from making more.

That led to the likes of Lenihan, midfield trio John Buckley, Lewis Travis and Joe Rothwell as well as top scorer Ben Brereton all featuring in the third round tie.

Yet Mowbray said he wanted to see more from those handed an opportunity at the DW Stadium.

The changes came after Mowbray had named the same outfield players for six consecutive Championship matches, with Rovers going unbeaten in that time.

He added: “I’ve said to the team that they need to impact more. I need to see personality, they can’t be knocking on my door and asking why they aren’t getting more game-time. When you get it you have to impact the game.

“Do your jobs and you’ll get in the team.

“Right now I need everyone really at it, even the players on the periphery have to make a big impact.”