A busy schedule, rather than worries about possible suspensions, will have a bigger influence on Tony Mowbray’s team selection.
The Rovers boss believes the current suspension model is outdated and would like to see an overhaul, but hopes to talk less about referees for the rest of the season.
Midfielders Lewis Travis and John Buckley are one booking away from triggering a two-match ban, although the number required for a suspension rises to 15 after three more games.
That leaves the pair on a tightrope, while Darragh Lenihan and Joe Rothwell are both two more cards away from serving suspension.
While Mowbray says he is well aware of the plight of some players facing suspensions, with five games in the space of 14 days before the March international break, keeping his squad fresh will have a bigger impact on the Mowbray’s selection.
“A little. I had a conversation with one or two players,” Mowbray explained.
“You can’t leave players out because you think ‘oh, don’t be reserved’.
“Buckley has been on nine yellow cards for some time, we’ve had instances in the past where Richie Smallwood has gone a lot of games without being warned.
“I’m not going to leave someone out of the team for three games just so they don’t miss two, I’m more aware of a game on Saturday then a game on Tuesday, then Saturday then another match on Tuesday and then again on Saturday.
“The intensity of these next five games coming up, I’m more concerned about those and making sure we can target them to see if we can get as many points as possible.”
Players who receive five yellow cards before the end of the 19th game must serve one game, while this number increases to two if they collect 10 before the end of the 37th game.
Fifteen bookings by the end of the regular season result in a three-match ban, but that doesn’t extend to the play-offs.
Only Cardiff City have received more bookings this season than Rovers, with Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder mooting the idea of changing booking rules, saying the current system is outdated.
Mowbray agreed, adding: “I get reports from the referees on how many bookings they give, five or six on average per game. It seems like a lot.
“How many games do you see without a reservation?
“Every referee referees a game differently, some want to impose their authority on the game early, book people early, and others won’t get their cards out in the first half but then book everyone in the last 10 minutes.
“I heard how the Premier League complained about refereeing standards and enough said, I really feel like I commented too much on the referees.
“I’m emotionally absorbed in my team and I want fairness, I want people to understand the game and see what’s fair.
“I would never question the integrity of an official, but I doubt his ability to make the right decision.
“They must know, a lot of them don’t, but there’s nothing I can do about it.
“I’m trying not to get involved with the fourth officials anymore, I hope you don’t see me being warned anymore because I feel like it can work against you if you’re that idiot on the sidelines.
“I think the whole issue of reservations needs to be looked at and revised.
“I’ve always said, I think, and I understand why they don’t, but more footballers should become referees and be stepped up in the game. The professionals who make the games need to make more good decisions.