Rovers have just one player away on international duty offering Tony Mowbray the chance to work with more numbers than he’s been afforded in recent breaks.

Defender Ryan Nyambe asked to be left out of Namibia’s World Cup qualifying double-header against Eritrea in a bid to push his claims for a recall, a request granted by his country’s federation.

Defensive trio Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams and Greg Cunningham were all named in the provisional Republic of Ireland squad by Mick McCarthy, but weren’t included when numbers were trimmed from 40 down to 25.

And with Charlie Mulgrew, a mainstay in the Scotland side throughout his time a Rovers, now on loan at Wigan, Corry Evans is Rovers sole senior international, with Jayson Leutwiler having not been called up by Canada.

Midfielder Evans, yet to play any Championship minutes for Rovers this season, will be in action for his country against Luxembourg on September 5 and then Germany on September 9.

That will afford Mowbray more time to work with a greater number of players during the break, and ahead of the Millwall home game on September 14.

But the boss says there will be a mix of rest, after eight games in the opening months, and hard work during the 14-day break.

“I think it’s always a fine balance,” Mowbray said.

“The second week of this break will be when we do our main work.

“The first week, you have to get the balance right, because they have played six league games and two in the cup, lots of three-game weeks.

“We were in on Sunday to dissect the game, the players will get a few days off and then we’re in again to start preparing for Millwall at home.”

Rovers conceded twice in each of their opening two Championship games, and in both their Carabao Cup ties.

However, they did chalk up three consecutive clean sheets in the Championship before being left to rue defensive mistakes in the weekend’s 3-2 defeat at West Bromwich Albion.

There were uncharacteristic errors from Cardiff City loanee Cunningham and Lenihan in the lead up to the first and third Baggies goals, while Adam Armstrong was caught out in the lead-up to Jake Livermore’s strike.

And having been praised for the three straight shut-outs, Mowbray says they must take the criticism that has come their way after the Hawthorns


“Footballers need to do their jobs and recently they have, our defence has been really solid,” the boss said.

“The first goal, Greg assumed the goalie was coming and he wasn’t.

“He just needed to get his head up and clear the ball.

“Darragh was caught in two minds, Adam was trying to do a defensive job and got caught out.

“We took the plaudits for keeping three clean sheets on the bounce and have to take the negatives when the goals go in against us.

“We’ll keep working away as a team.”