Jack Rodwell could be in line to make his first team debut on Tuesday night for the Carabao Cup trip to AFC Bournemouth, according to Tony Mowbray.
The versatile midfielder, who signed for the club last month, has yet to run out for the first team as he steps up his return to full fitness.
But game time against Arsenal for the Development Squad at the start of last week saw Rodwell get a full game ticked off, and Mowbray admits he could be included in the travelling party to Bournemouth on Tuesday night.
"First and foremost it was important psychologically for Jack to get a game and get 90 minutes under his belt last week against Arsenal. The game got a bit feisty towards the end and it was a good match for him to be involved in," Tony said.
“Arsenal were good on the ball but Jack showed his fluency across the ground, his mobility and composure on the ball. He coped with situations well and defended well.
“This weekend is a bit too soon for him, but Bournemouth on a Tuesday night may give him an opportunity. When these games come around we need to think about our squad.
"We’d like to go there and play our strongest squad. Bournemouth may make changes but it seems to me that an opportunity is there to get Jack involved in the first team and should there be no issues in training I see that as a real possibility."
So where does Tony see Jack's best position? The former Everton and Manchester City player has experience in the centre of midfield and at the back.
“Jack can play both positions well. I’ve seen his clips and he’s been throwing himself into tackles and shown what he can do. He can play in midfield and play at the back in the centre. That versatility is nice for us to have," Mowbray added.
“He has a good personality and trains well, showing a real high quality. Let’s wait and see where an opportunity opens up. It might be a Cup game but he might have to be patient and wait for an opportunity to open up.
“The good thing for me is that he understands my predicament and the fact he has to force his way into the team. But he also knows that he needs that opportunity. Let’s see how it goes."