Rovers head into the final week of the season with the most number of options available to Tony Mowbray.

Throughout varying stages of the season Rovers have been without up to eight players, but only Dilan Markanday and Reda Khadra are currently unavailable to the manager.

That saw Ryan Nyambe, Bradley Johnson, Jacob Davenport, Joe Rankin-Costello and Ryan Giles all miss out on the matchday squad at Preston North End, something the manager confirmed was down to selection.

Deyovaisio Zeefuik and Ian Poveda returned from their injury lay-offs to take their place in the squad, while Tayo Edun was back from suspension.

Rovers stuck with the same outfield players for five of the six-game winning run at the end of 2021 but so far in 2022 haven’t named an unchanged side, mostly down to unavailability, but also a reflection of how the results have gone.

Having first lost Harry Pickering to injury, Nyambe and Darragh Lenihan both serving suspensions, Ben Brereton having faced a six-week lay-off and Joe Rothwell also missing matches with a back issue, the side that won six consecutive matches in 2021 hasn’t been available to Mowbray until after the March international break.

He believes that has played a factor in the inconsistency of results, and despite the increased options now, Mowbray still feels that the loss of Khadra is a blow.

The Brighton loanee is back at his parent club for a scan on a calf injury which has kept him out since the defeat at Reading on March 19, with the results of that set to determine his involvement in the remaining matches.

On the inflated numbers for the Preston trip, Mowbray said: “Just about everyone is fit, and we’re in the last week of the season.

“I’ve sat with my medical department and at times we’ve had as many as 10 players injured, or unavailable, at any given time this season.

“It’s not as easy to win football matches when you haven’t got as many choices.

“Khadra is still a big miss, he can damage teams in this league and is a miss.

“You look at the team that won those games on the bounce and see how many times after I was able to select that team.

“I would suggest it’s been unavailable every week.”

Take out a subscription...

Gain unlimited access to the Lancashire Telegraph website with a premium digital subscription from just £1