BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer will once again take the opportunity to blood youngsters in the Capital One Cup.
But Bowyer has made it clear he wants no repeat of last season’s penalty shoot-out loss at Carlisle.
Rovers discovered their first-round opponents this morning when they were drawn at home to League One new boys Scunthorpe United.
But even before the draw was made Bowyer indicated he will give stars like Jack O’Connell a chance to shine.
And he is expecting nothing less than progress after his side’s shock exit at the same stage in 2012-13.
“Last season we did that and unfortunately for us we got knocked out on penalties,” said Bowyer, who handed Yann Songo’o and Josh Morris their only starts of the campaign in the spot-kick defeat at then League One Carlisle.
“We don’t want to be getting knocked out and it certainly wasn’t the plan last season.
“The plan was to put people on the pitch to see how they coped with that environment.
“We’ve got quite a few now who have been out and got League experience so it is probably something we will look at.
“It’s nice to give some of the younger players an opportunity and the Capital One Cup should present a chance to do that.
“But we were disappointed last season that we out of the competition at that stage and we certainly wouldn’t want a repeat.”
O’Connell, Anthony O’Connor and Anton Forrester, along with the older Morris, spent last season out on loan in League Two, while John O’Sullivan and Kellen Daly finished the campaign playing in the Conference Premier with Southport.
Centre back O’Connell, regarded as the club’s best prospect for his age, is in talks over a new contract.
The 20-year-old helped Rochdale to promotion from League Two last season and he has been backed by their manager – former Rovers defender Keith Hill – to push for a place in Bowyer’s first-team squad.
Rovers’ transfer-listed midfielder Dickson Etuhu, meanwhile, has been linked with a move to the United Arab Emirates.
Dubai-based Al Ahli are reportedly interested in signing the 32-year-old.
Etuhu has made just 24 appearances for Rovers since his £1.5m move from Fulham two years ago.
The Nigeria international, one of the club’s biggest earners, has two years left on his contract.
Rovers have had no contact from Al Ahli.