Tony Mowbray has hinted that he will field a strong team in tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy group game against Stoke City Under-21s.
With this weekend’s scheduled League One fixture against Fleetwood Town being postponed, the manager insists that provides him with an opportunity to play an experienced side.
Mowbray is keen to make it through to the knockout stages of the competition, having played a part in Coventry City’s cup run to Wembley last season.
“As we are still in the early stages of the season, we will approach this game in a strong manner,” said the Rovers boss.
“We will have to look after some of the senior players who have been asked to play a lot of minutes in our first few games and give opportunities to some younger players.
“But we would like to do well in this competition. I won’t just be sending the Under-23 team out to play.
“If I feel it’s not going to harm anybody physically, given that we don’t have a game this weekend, we will play a pretty strong team, but there will be some very obvious spaces for some young players to come in and experience first team football.
“Let’s see how we get on. Hopefully we will win a few games and get to the knockout stage and make it a bit exciting.
“I was a part of the Coventry experience, whether it was one or two games in the Checkatrade Trophy, at the start of last season and we beat West Ham 4-2 in our first game, by putting out a pretty strong team.
“They got all the way to Wembley and took 40-odd thousand supporters there, so any cup competition is exciting if you get to the latter stages of it and yet we can’t put strong teams out at the expense of our league programme.
“So, as this competition develops, depending on what game is coming up at the weekend or what happened the weekend before, we will pick teams accordingly.”
Rovers will be without Charlie Mulgrew, Corry Evans and Jayson Leutwiler, who have joined up with their respective countries on international duty, whilst Bradley Dack and Darragh Lenihan are expected to again miss out through injury.
Tickets for tonight's match are priced at just £5 for adults, £2.50 for concessions (65+ and ages 12-17) and free for juniors, when accompanied by a paying adult, up until 6pm.
Thereafter, matchday prices are £10 for adults, £5 for concessions and £2.50 for juniors.