Corry Evans’ return could leave Tony Mowbray with a difficult a decision on who to select in his starting line-up - and who to leave on the bench.

Evans missed the Aston Villa defeat with a hamstring injury but is set to further compliment Mowbray’s options for tomorrow’s visit of Stoke City.

The Rovers boss saw four first team players return to the squad at Villa Park, with the likes of Tyler Magloire, John Buckley and Dan Butterworth drafted in from the Under-23s to be part of the squad in recent weeks.

However, as his selection decisions increase for who to start against the Potters, Mowbray may also have to leave a senior player in the stands for tomorrow’s game.

That isn’t a scenario he’s been faced with this season, given the number of absentees at various stages. And while remaining loyal to the players who helped the club to promotion last season during the course of the 39 games so far, Mowbray acknowledges he could face a difficult call.

“I don’t concern myself with things like that to be honest. If someone gets left out then they will have to take it on the chin,” he explained.

“I say that constantly to them. I like to think one of my human traits is loyalty.

“As I’ve tried to show this year with the team that got us out of League One, I’ve been loyal to all of the players.

“But there comes a time, and if it’s the case where one of the senior players has to be left out, then so be it and they’ll understand it’s not done through malice, but to get the right balance of the bench.

“You need enough defenders, enough midfield players and enough attackers. Sometimes that balance will change, but we’ll pick the team and subs to try and get the job done.”

Rovers go in to their remaining seven games on 47 points, having finished January with just four fewer.

Mowbray would like to see them push towards the 60-point mark by the end of the season in what would be a stark turnaround in fortunes given their post-January run. They host Stoke today, before Derby arrive at Ewood Park on Tuesday.

And the boss added: “We go in to these last seven games hoping to win a substantial number of them and we have an opportunity this week to try and win two of them.”