Ryan Nyambe’s demanding start to the season, previous hamstring issues and Rovers’ likely dominance against Wycombe all contributed to the full back being left on the bench at the weekend.

Nyambe had to settle for a place among the substitutes as Joe Rankin-Costello switched to right back to accommodate the returns of Bradley Johnson and Adam Armstrong.

They were the two changes made by Tony Mowbray, with Lewis Travis having joined the extended injury list after coming off in the Carabao Cup tie at Newcastle United.

Nyambe came up with an assist for the second equaliser at Bournemouth and put in a huge shift in the St James’ Park defeat, with the full backs having a demanding role in the current 4-3-3 system.

The Namibian international has established himself as a key man in the side, with Mowbray recognising his importance by leaving him out against Wycombe for fear of losing him to injury.

The threat of that was heightened by his physical output in the previous two matches, and his own susceptibility to hamstring strains in recent seasons.

Rankin-Costello scored, when playing at right back in the Carabao Cup win over Doncaster, and has proven himself to be a man for all roles since coming into the side earlier this year.

He hit the post and saw a shot saved here, and while his final ball wasn’t always as reliable as Mowbray would have wanted, the manager felt a more attacking option in Rankin-Costello was the right call to make.

Nyambe will be expected to return to the starting line-up when Rovers head to face Derby County at the weekend where the 22-year-old could well come up against former transfer target Kamil Jozwiak, who looks set to make his home debut for the Rams.

“It was my call,” Mowbray said of leaving out Nyambe, who also missed part of pre-season through injury.

“At home against a team that I thought we were going to get in behind them plenty, Rankin-Costello with his ability to pick a pass even though he didn't do it well enough at times, I felt it was a day for Rankin-Costello to play right-back rather than Nyambe.

“The first two games, Nyambe's physical data has been through the roof, higher than I've ever seen it and this was the third game in a week and we don't want another hamstring injury, another problem to another first-team player.

“I just thought it was a day where we didn't need Nyambe's one-on-one defensive capability, so I sat him on the bench to give him a rest.”