Rovers boss Gary Bowyer is pleased with how his players’ pre-season preparations are taking shape.
Following an intensive week-long warm weather training camp in Portugal, a number of Rovers’ senior stars were given a 75-minute run-out at Rochdale on Tuesday night.
After Lee Williamson had opened the scoring, a brace from Ian Henderson was what separated the two sides, but Bowyer could take heart from the fitness levels and passages of play on show at Spotland.
“The plan was always to get 75 minutes under their belt,” said the manager. “We got that and we were pleased with periods of the game, in terms of how we played and what we’d worked on in Portugal coming to the fore.
“It’s a case of ticking off another game and getting more minutes under their belt.
“It’s always good coming to Keith Hill’s team, because they play the game the right way and it was a really good workout for us and great for the young lads in the last 15 minutes to experience this type of night.
“We’re pleased with how we’re going and how we’re progressing. Portugal was a real tough week and then we worked them really hard on Monday, so we knew what the game would be about.”
The trip to Rochdale saw the return to action of midfielder Jason Lowe, who missed much of last season with a persistent foot problem, whilst defensive duo Grant Hanley and Shane Duffy also continued their comebacks from injuries.
“Those lads are coming back into it and it’s easy to forget sometimes how long they’ve been out,” added Bowyer.
“So we have to manage them still, but with the knowledge that we’ve got in our medical department and with Chris Neville, the detail and preparation for the lads in terms of their minutes is very good.
“The plan was always for Lowey to get 45 minutes. It’s just a case of easing him back in. He’s going to have aches and pains from getting back used to playing again, but we’re delighted for every minute he gets now.”
Rovers are back in action this Friday night when they take on Tranmere Rovers. It is pay on the day at Prenton Park with prices of £10.00 for Adults, £7.00 Concessions (Over 65’s and 17 – 22’s), £4.00 Under 17’s, £2.00 Under 12’s (must be accompanied by an Adult) and £5.00 Disabled. Kick-off is 7.45pm.