Damien Johnson believes it was important to see three more of his players go out on loan to further their development.

Goalkeeper Andrew Fisher, defender Matty Platt and midfielder Lewis Hardcastle all secured deals away from Ewood Park last week.

The trio joined FC United of Manchester, Southport and Barrow respectively, all on one month deals.

They join the likes of Joe Grayson, Scott Wharton and Brad Lyons in securing loan moves this year and has meant a period of transition for Johnson’s side.

That hasn’t hampered their progress, with six wins and just one defeat from their last eight matches in all competitions, including a 1-1 draw at Everton in the Premier League Cup on Friday night.

On the moves for Fisher, Platt and Hardcastle, Johnson said: “I think they’re all at that age where they need to be playing some first team football.

“Lewis has found his game time here a bit limited, so he was keen to explore other opportunities, and Matty has had a couple of frustrating loan spells, so he just wanted to go somewhere where he could get some games.

“We wish them all the best, we’ll keep an eye on them and hopefully they can improve and get the experience they need.”

Fisher played the full 90 minutes of FCUM were beaten 2-1 at Altrincham in National League North, while Platt, recalled from a spell at Accrington Stanley last month, was part of a Southport team who upset league leaders Chorley with a 5-3 win.

Hardcastle meanwhile, wasn’t involved for Barrow in their 1-1 draw with Barrow, having spent the first half of the season at Port Vale.

Rovers are third in Premier League Cup group B going in to their final match against Doncaster Rovers later this month.

Dan Butterworth put them ahead early in the second half at Southport, before Anthony Gordon equalised with 20 minutes to play. That means Rovers will have to win their final group game to stand any chance of qualifying for the knockout stages for a third consecutive year.

That will have to be followed by Sheffield United failing to beat Everton, otherwise Johnson’s side will be eliminated.

There was good news for Rovers on Friday as Jacob Davenport came through 60 minutes. It was his fourth appearance for Johnson’s men, but first since November. The 20-year-old is yet to feature for the first team since his joining from Manchester City.