STEVE Kean believes his current Blackburn Rovers squad is the strongest he has ever had at his disposal and has challenged all his players to take their chances.

Ahead of tomorrow’s Championship trip to Bristol City, the Rovers boss is able to boast an almost fully-fit squad and has warned his players any below par performances could leave them in the cold.

Scott Dann, Martin Olsson and Gael Givet have recovered from injury, with Colin Kazim-Richards also pushing for a return to the substitutes bench, leaving Kean an embarrassment of riches.

Kean admits his selection headache will leave a few players “with the hump” most weeks but insists he would rather have it that way than be short of options.

He said: “In terms of options and competition for places this is without doubt the strongest we have ever been.

“Look at the back line, we have Jason Lowe, Bruno Ribeiro and Bradley Orr all fighting for one position, Martin Olsson and Markus Olsson fighting for the left back spot. We have four centre halves.

“We have goalkeepers in abundance. You go all the way through the team and we have great options all over the pitch.

“It is a nice problem, I would rather have the problem of bringing people into the office and saying ‘you are not going to start this week’ and them having the hump a little bit. Rather that than the team picking itself because we don’t have any options which we have had in the past.

“We want everyone wanting to play. We want everyone pushing and available for training.

“The lads who haven’t had as many minutes have been getting about the pitch in training making sure they can stake a claim for a place.

“Then what it means is when someone goes on the pitch, we have seen it with Ruben Rochina, they know they have to shine and do something special. The substitutes when they have come on have all had an impact.”

Rovers’ only loss this campaign came in the Capital One Cup, a disappointing defeat at League One MK Dons, having picked up eight points from four league games.

Kean admits the defeat at the Stadium MK did not go down well and has told some of his fringe players involved, they may have to wait for another chance.

He said: “I was really disappointed with our performance against MK Dons. I felt there were some lads who had not played and it was a big opportunity for them to say this is our chance. Some of them let themselves down. They might not get another opportunity for a number of weeks.”

Bristol City may not be anyone’s fancied team this year, with their Championship rivals having bigger financial clout, but Kean insists he is expecting a tough time at Ashton Gate.

The Robins are hoping for a bumper home crowd, following their ‘Pack the Gate’ marketing campaign, and Kean believes that is something his side will have to get used to.

“We will be the team to beat because of the squad we have, because of the history of the club, because of what we have managed to do in the transfer market,” he said.

“Teams want to take our scalp and we have to enjoy that pressure, step up to the plate and make sure that we deliver and up to now we are in a good solid position.

“It would be nice to get that first away win. We have to be able to see games out and we go into the games full of confidence. You look at the bodies and we are confident.”