David Raya’s place is under threat according to boss Tony Mowbray, after a number of high profile errors from the goalkeeper in recent weeks.

Mowbray is considering the position of the Rovers No.1 ahead of Saturday’s home game with Preston.

The 23-year-old has started all but two of the last 86 league games but, after conceding 14 goals in last six matches, Mowbray wants an improvement from the Spaniard.

“He’s getting pressure from the performance level he’s producing in my eyes. He’s been told that in no uncertain terms,” the Ewood boss said.

“He’s found some decision-making really tough, particularly when we’ve got the issues we’ve got, the goalkeeper has to be more dominant.

“I’ve always told him from day one, I want a dominant goalkeeper in my goal. If he’s not going to be dominant and affect crosses then he won’t play.”

Rovers have looked shaky at the back without Darragh Lenihan, who is expected to be missing for at least another three weeks.

Jayson Leutwiler, who kept a clean sheet in the November win over QPR, has started just two league games for Rovers since signing from Shrewsbury Town in 2017.

On whether the Canadian is applying pressure to Raya, Mowbray added: “I think Jayson’s main strength is his vocal information that he gives out.

“He’s a very experienced goalie and has a fantastic voice and organises the people in front of him.

“Is Raya feeling pressure? Yes, well he is from me. While you can protect him as much as you can I feel there have been goals going in that he could have done better with. Not necessarily save the shot, but make the decision better. I think that’s a fair comment.

“I’m very conscious of talking about my players and criticising them publicly.”

Mowbray believes the goalkeeper is going through a ‘sticky patch’.

“I want him to be a top goalie. I think David Raya can play in the Premier League and I think that’s why he’s been my No.1 goalie, but at the moment, in my opinion, he’s having a sticky patch,” said Mowbray.

“Sometimes you stick with them through a sticky patch or you give them a kick up the backside by making a change.

“David is fully aware of that situation, he knows that I’m not happy because I have had conversations with him after games.

“I think it’s important, as I have for two years, protected my players and told them how great they are and how fantastic they have been doing.

“But when we have a tough patch I think they have to realise that I can’t protect them all the time. The fact the question is being asked is suggesting that people are thinking ‘there are too many goals going in, has the goalie got anything to do with it?’

“I’m telling you publicly that yes I think there are some decisions the goalie hasn’t got right, but he’s a young goalie, this is his first season consistently in the Championship.

“He’s played just about every game and he has to learn as he goes along. If you don’t learn then you won’t get to the next level.

“This is just a stage that will stand him in good stead and benefit him in the future, to have a sticky patch that he hasn’t had in a long time.

“He’s in the middle of his sticky patch and if I decide to leave him out then I will leave him out, whether he reacts to that we will wait and see.”

Mowbray acknowledges that dropping Raya would be a big decision, despite a six game run without a win.

“It’s a difficult one, because the goalie going in has to get the job done and then try and stay in the team. If he doesn’t, and the goals still keep going in, when do you go back to your original goalie?” the boss added.

“I’m not here to protect David, I think he’s a fantastic goalie, he’s fast, agile, a great shot-stopper, his distribution is good, but I think he has to get back to basics, keep his concentration levels high.

“Lenihan, who wants to head every ball, isn’t there at the moment, and I think he (Raya) needs to step up and help the back players a bit more.”