GARY Bowyer has warned his Blackburn Rovers reserves 'you have to be ready to take your opportunity' as he looks to help more young players onto the big time.

Rovers' reserves boss saw his young side open their pre-season campaign with a 7-1 win at Kendal Town and then stressed the importance of providing support for Steve Kean’s senior squad.

Now very much a development squad, Bowyer admits the goal is to keep producing first team players, to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Phil Jones, Junior Hoilett, Grant Hanley and Martin Olsson.

He said: “The support the players get on and off the pitch is great but when they do get that opportunity they have to take it. It is up to them. A couple of young lads have gone on tour with the first team and, who knows, let’s see if they can stay in there.

“Predominantly we will be very young and that is good because it gives them the opportunity. They can’t say they never got the opportunity because they have.

“From the top all the way down, we won’t accept players not putting it in. They have got the greatest job in the world and the standards that are being set means we won’t allow players to not meet those standards.”

Rovers were given a shock in the opening minute when Kendal’s Mark Peers broke down the right and his cross was slotted home at the far post by Danny Williams.

Bowyer’s men hit back instantly through Aaron Doran and, from there, they never looked back as their superior fitness levels and quick passing proved too much for their industrious opponents.

Micah Evans, Jamie Maclaren and James Knowles were also on target before the break, while second half substitute Tom Hitchcock fired a hat trick to complete the scoring.

Midfielder Knowles was particularly impressive before the break with an energetic display and the willingness to pass the ball, while centre back Gavin Gunning showed why he impressed in the Scottish Premier League last season.

The first half strike pairing of Evans and Maclaren complimented each other well and were a constant threat while their half time replacements, Hitchcock and Osayemen Osawe, continued in a similar vein.

Having won the northern reserve league last year, boss Bowyer, left, knows there is a lot to live up to this time round – but insists it isn’t all about results.

He said: “It is is great it has all started again. You do miss it.

“All last year we wante our teams to be competitive and if we can win the games then great.

"The real focus is on the individual and their development.

“They have to have that winning mentality but predominantly it has to be about individuals.”