Rovers host Oldham Athletic at Ewood Park tonight in the third and final Checkatrade Trophy group game (kick-off 7.30pm).
Damien Johnson’s side have acquitted themselves well in the revamped competition, but a failure to convert their chances has seen them slip to narrow defeats away to Fleetwood Town (1-0) and Carlisle United (2-0).
Rovers will need to win – and win well – if they are to stand any chance of progressing through to the knockout phase.
They come up against an Oldham side who kicked off their campaign with a 5-4 defeat at home to Carlisle, before beating Fleetwood 2-0 last time out.
Johnson is expecting a tough test against the League One club, but hopes his side can end the group stage on a positive note.
“We’re really looking forward to the game and, I must say, it’s been a great tournament for us to be involved in,” said the development squad head coach.
“The games, as we thought they would be, have been really good learning experiences for the lads, playing against seasoned pros and getting to see first-hand the level that’s required in terms of where they are trying to get to.
“The higher up you go, it’s about results and it’s about teams being clinical. You get punished for little lapses in concentration and I think that probably happens less so at development level.
“When you come up against experienced professionals, they capitalise on mistakes and that’s something we can learn from. So there are plenty of positives that we can take from the competition.
“Oldham are a League One club and they’ve got some really good players. I know the manager, Stephen Robinson, and their assistant, Ian Baraclough. They are really good football people, who are experienced and who will have them organised, so it’s going to be a really tough test for us, but it’s a good opportunity for us to play under the lights at Ewood and it’s an occasion that we’re all really looking forward to.
“Ultimately, we want the lads to give a good account of themselves and the challenge will be to get the result as well, because at senior level and in tournament football, results are the be-all and end-all.
“So we’ll certainly be trying to win the game and hopefully a performance comes along with that as well.”
Tickets, which are available from the Roverstore or via the Call Centre on 01254 372000, are priced at £10 for Adults, £5 for Concessions and £2.50 for Under-12s.