TONY Mowbray has challenged Rovers’ younger players to follow the lead of Lewis Travis and give him plenty to think about in the run up to the new season.

The 21-year-old established himself in the heart of the midfield in the second half of last season, making 31 appearances in all in a breakthrough campaign.

Now the gauntlet has been laid down to others with a host of the club’s promising players having spent a week in Austria in the first-team squad.

Mowbray has name-checked Under-23s skipper Tyler Magloire, midfielder John Buckley and attacker Dan Butterworth as three who could force their way into his plans.

The trio made their first-team debuts last season and will be hoping they feature in the boss’ thinking when the new Championship season kicks off against Charlton Athletic at Ewood Park on August 3.

“We hope one or two of them make life really difficult for us like Lewis did,” Mowbray said.

“He broke in and just about nailed himself into the first-team environment now.

“He has to keep going and pushing on and the likes of Buckley, Magloire and Butterworth have got opportunities to push themselves in.

 “Let’s see how these games through the pre-season spell go and then we’ll make decisions towards the end of pre-season.”

That call will be whether players stay at Ewood Park or are allowed to get some first team football further down the Football League - at least until January.

Mowbray has been pleased with what he’s seen from his young guns during the training camp, both on a personal level and with regards to the impact they’ve had on the rest of the squad who have been getting up to speed in Bad Tatzmannsdorf.

“I think the younger lads are enjoying it and we’re enjoying having them around,” he told Rovers’ official website.  

“It keeps the intensity levels really high among the older players.

“The numbers and stats have been good because there are a lot of younger players here.

“It’s good for them. Some of them got dropped into the team towards the end of last season and did exceptionally well.

“It’s a big year for them. Some of them might go out on loan and play League One or Two football.

“Some will stay around our team and try and make an impact.

“It’s been good for the senior players to have them around and good for the younger players to hopefully get used to the environment they are going to come into on a more regular basis.”

The youngsters’ first chance to impress will come in the opening pre-season friendly at Barrow this Saturday.