Joe Nuttall is expected to be on the bench for Rovers at Millwall today - but could still leave the club on loan this month.

The striker didn’t travel to Newcastle for last weekend’s FA Cup tie, as he scored again for the Under-23s in their win over Chelsea, his ninth goal in his last five games. The 21-year-old has only been in the matchday 18 twice since September, but has travelled with the squad to the New Den.

Boss Tony Mowbray admits a loan move could be sanctioned before the window closes on January 31, with six clubs understood to be interested in the striker, so long as Rovers bring in a forward of their own.

And while Mowbray believes that would be beneficial for the striker, who scored five times for the first team last season, he admits Nuttall is needed around the first team for now.

“If we bring a player in of a Nuttall type, who brings physicality, there’s every chance Joe will be allowed to go out. If we don’t, then Joe understands the situation,” he explained of the balancing act.

“We have to put the club’s interests first. We shouldn’t be leaving ourselves too vulnerable for his potential to go and play some games.

“We pay his salary, he’s developing here, he’s scoring in the Under-23s. I know it’s not ideal for him, but we find ourselves in a scenario where our main goalscoring threat as a No.9 is Danny Graham who is 33, and in my opinion can’t play three games a week, every week.

“We need another option for him and at this moment Joe, Ben Brereton, Adam Armstrong, are the options. Joe Nuttall is the most like Danny Graham because of the physicality he brings I would suggest.

“Let’s see what the next few weeks bring. I do talk to Joe, I’m not talking about things he doesn’t know.

“If there is an opportunity for him to go and play 15 or 20 games between now and the end of the season then great, and I know there’s lots of opportunities to do that because my phone rings off the hook every day about him.

“We’re trying hard behind the scenes to get the ones that we want and if we can, then I’m sure Joe will lots of choices to make about where he wants to go and play his football until the end of the season and come back and put pressure on becoming the No.9 for Blackburn Rovers.”