Tony Mowbray has revealed that the aim is to ensure a number of his first team squad get a full game under their belts when Everton visit Ewood Park on Thursday evening.
So far this summer Mowbray has given everyone in the squad a fair chance to stake a claim for Rovers' opening game of the season at Ipswich Town on Saturday 4th August.
But with four games down in pre-season and two to come this week ahead of the big kick-off at Portman Road, the boss is looking to up the ante.
“Quite a lot of the players will get 90 minutes against Everton and then quite a lot of the players will get 90 minutes at Accrington. Then we’re ready to go," Tony said honestly.
“I’ve never believed that come the first game of the season everyone’s 100% fit, it’s a progression. We could play 90 minutes now if we needed to but we have a couple of weeks left and we’ll make sure everyone is ready by then and everyone will have played 90 minutes by then I’m sure.
“We have done 90 minute and two hour training sessions to allow the stamina levels to be up. In the middle of a season with two games a week there will be times where we will be training less than an hour a day."
It's been a mixed bag for Mowbray's men in pre-season with wins against Hibernian and Lincoln City, a draw against Port Vale and defeat to Liverpool, but he's pleased with "plenty of positive signs" from his troops so far this summer.
“The players have worked really hard and I think there are plenty of positive signs. We’re looking forward to a good test on Thursday against Everton," Tony added.
“As the season rolls forward we have to constantly look at where our squad is. We have some big players in the final year of their contract and for varying reasons we can’t do anything on those deals."
A reminder that Rovers continue their pre-season preparations on Thursday evening when Everton visit Ewood Park for our final home friendly ahead of the big Championship kick-off. Ticket for the game remain on sale and you can purchase yours by clicking here.