Darren Ferguson is weighing up whether to choose a more experienced back-line at Exeter City tomorrow.
Craig Alcock, 28, and Frazer Richardson, 34, are both in contention to start at St James Park after coming through 135 minutes unscathed against Oldham Athletic and Port Vale.
Young duo Niall Mason and Cedric Evina started at right and left back respectively in the last league game against Wycombe Wanderers.
But Rovers’ disappointing goals against column could tempt Ferguson into selecting one or two older heads at the back.
“It’s great to get those two back because they bring quality and experience as well,” said Ferguson yesterday.
“They give me more options which might be just what I need, in terms of either I can put them in, or it puts real pressure on the ones who do start.
“I know in my own mind what I’m going to do on Saturday but it certainly makes it a tougher decision for me.
“I’ve just got to be absolutely certain that Alcock and Richardson can do three games in a week. That’s something I need to give a lot of thought.”
Andy Butler trained yesterday following his injury scare at Oldham, while Marko Marosi, Jordan Houghton, Matty Blair, James Coppinger, Tommy Rowe and John Marquis are all expected to return to the starting line-up tomorrow.
n Rovers’ home clash with Portsmouth has been brought forward to Thursday, January 5 (7.45pm) for live coverage on Sky Sports.
n Rovers will play Blackpool at home in the last 32 of the Checkatrade Trophy.