With Blackburn Rovers further into their pre-season regime, Barrow AFC manager Ian Evatt accepts his team may be at a physical disadvantage when the two teams meet at Holker Street tomorrow.

The Bluebirds only had their first training session at Hopwood Hall on Monday, meaning emphasis of the friendly against the Championship side will be on building up the players’ fitness.

As a result, each member of the AFC squad is likely to be limited to around 45 minutes of action, with there still being six other friendlies to follow before the real business starts at Wrexham on August 3.

Evatt said: “It’s going to be a fantastic test, but it’s so early on in pre-season.

“It’s fantastic to be playing these big teams and it’s great that they’re going to be coming to our stadium and giving us a game, but we’ll five days down the process when we’re playing them. We’ll have been back for a week, while they’ve been back longer than us, so they’ll be ahead in terms of fitness - I think they’ve been abroad as well.

“It’s going to give us kind of a gauge as to where we’re at physically and players will only be playing 45 minutes because they’ve had such a tough week - they’ve averaged 10-11k in running for the first three days, which is a lot of load on their bodies.”

Almost every player will be available to face Blackburn, although Rhys Turner and Brian Wilson, who have both accepted invitations to train with Barrow despite being out of contract, won’t be in action.

Evatt said: “Rhys is still not quite fit - he’s still recovering from the hamstring issue he had towards the end of last season, so he is still rehabbing.

“Brian has been back training with us after such a long time out, so we need to be careful with him and manage him correctly and just have a good look at during pre-season to see where he’s at.”