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BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer insists striker Luke Varney has not been signed just to act as cover.

Varney came off the bench to make his Rovers debut in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Middlesbrough after completing his loan move from Championship rivals Leeds United.

And Bowyer is adamant the 31-year-old, who can also play out wide, will soon be pushing for a place in his starting line-up.

Bowyer said: “A lot of work has gone into the deal and the lad was desperate to come and join us.

“When he came on I think he showed the fans what he is going to bring to us with his aggression and powerful running.

“Luke has not come to be cover.

“He’s come to get in the first team and add some firepower up there.”

Hamstring victim Josh King is unlikely to play again this month, while fellow wide man Ben Marshall faces a fight to be fit before the end of the season after sustaining ankle-ligament damage.

Varney said: “I enjoy playing up top and we’ve got a fantastic finisher up there in Jordan Rhodes.

“So it’s up to me to do some of the donkey work and Rudy Gestede can do some of it too.

“I don’t mind playing anywhere across that front three.

“But wherever the gaffer chooses me I will do my best.”

Such has been Bowyer’s paucity of attacking options he has had to include 16-year-old Connor Mahoney in five of the nine matchday squads he has named this year.

The highly rated winger, who turns 17 tomorrow, will spend time away from Rovers at the end of this month after he earned his second England U17s call-up.

Mahoney, who made his debut for the young Lions last month, has been named in the 20-man squad for the Algarve Tournament. England will face Netherlands, Portugal and Germany in the annual Portuguese competition.