BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer says the versatility of Alex Baptiste and Jason Lowe is going to be crucial if he is unable to recruit the defensive reinforcements his squad desperately require.
Rovers have just four fully fit senior defenders heading into tomorrow’s Capital One Cup clash with Scunthorpe after Matt Kilgallon joined Tommy Spurr on the sidelines.
Bowyer is planning to go back to the board and Venky’s to see if there is any chance he can bring in some much needed back-up.
But if the purse strings cannot be loosened then Bowyer – who fully understands why that could be the case – admits the flexibility of Baptiste and Lowe will take on added significance.
Midfielder Lowe moved to right back after Kilgallon went off at half-time in Friday’s Championship opener with Cardiff with debutant Baptiste, who can also play left back, switching to the centre.
Both impressed in the second half as Rovers, watched by owners Venky’s from the stands, kick started their season with a 1-1 draw against the title favourites.
And Bowyer said: “We might try and go and do something but if not we’ve got people who can go and play anywhere.
“You saw that with Alex Baptiste and Jason Lowe.
“I thought Baptiste made an outstanding debut and showed why we signed him and showed why we need flexibility in the team.
“Jason Lowe was magnificent, too, at right back, after being so dominant in midfield. It was a shame to take him out of there but unfortunately we had an injury to Matt Kilgallon.”
Kilgallon suffered a back spasm after landing heavily following a challenge with Cardiff’s goalscorer Kenwyne Jones.
The centre back will continue to be assessed today to see if he can take his place in the Rovers squad for tomorrow’s cup clash with Scunthorpe at Ewood Park.
But of more concern is Spurr.
The left back missed the final three games of last season and a chunk of pre-season with a groin problem.
But his latest injury, sustained in training on the eve of the Bluebirds clash and which will rule him out for at least a fortnight, is unrelated.
Bowyer, who was impressed by the performance produced by Spurr’s last-minute replacement Markus Olsson, said: “It’s a groin injury again but it’s the other one this time.
“It’s safe to say he’ll be missing a couple of weeks.”
Rovers have so far this summer only been able to sign Baptiste on a season-long loan and strikers Chris Brown and Luke Varney on free transfers as the club, which lost £36.5m in its last published accounts, attempt to meet the Financial Fair Play regulations in the years to come.
And Bowyer said: “I’m going to have to have a conversation with the people above me.
“They’ve been very supportive to me all throughout my time here, and were again in me getting in Alex Baptiste, and I do understand we have to conform with Financial Fair Play and cut our cloth accordingly.”