Blackburn have eight senior players unavailable for Saturday’s clash at Sunderland while defender Chris Samba is also in doubt.
But new manager Steve Kean, who enjoyed his first win at West Brom on Tuesday, still believes he can field a team capable of forcing another positive result.
“We are stretched, no doubt about that,” said Kean. “However, the long list of unavailable players means chances elsewhere, especially for the young players.”
“We have a game plan and I think we can give Sunderland a really good game.”
“If we can pick up a point, or maybe even all three, then it would really set things up for the second half of the season.”
Striker Nikola Kalinic and defender Michel Salgado are both suspended while goalkeeper Paul Robinson, striker Jason Roberts and midfielders Steven Nzonzi, Phil Jones, Vince Grella and Keith Andrews are all injured.
Kean added: “It is difficult and we are hoping that big Chris (Samba) comes through. He has had a lot of intensive treatment and we are quite optimistic. He will have a late test, as late as possible to give him the best chance of making it.”
“Sunderland are a strong side who like to start with a high tempo and try to force you back as they go for the first goal.”
“We have got to match that and then try to get our game going in their final third as well. We defended well at West Brom, but we also attacked with real purpose.”
Rovers won 3-1 at The Hawthorns on Tuesday – the first time the team has scored three times away from home in a league game since Paul Ince’s first game in charge, a 3-2 win at Everton in August 2008.
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