BLACKBURN Rovers boss Tony Mowbray has confirmed Sam Hart will start pre-season with the club.

The left-back ended last season on loan with Southend United and many Shrimpers fans are keen to see Hart return to Roots Hall.

But Mowbray will run the rule over Hart again this summer before deciding on the defender’s future.

“It is down to the footballer really,” Mowbray told the Lancashire Telegraph. 

“Sam was brought in to the football club, six feet tall, fast, good left foot, young guy who needed to go out in to the world of men’s football and toughen up in my opinion.

“Then we could see whether he was going to be good enough to play for Blackburn Rovers. He’s been at Southend and didn’t play much at Rochdale but it’s down to Sam. He’ll come back and do pre-season with us, as will a lot of the young players.

“If we think they are ready then they will be part of our squad. If they are not ready then I’m sure the phone will be ringing for our young players and already has for some of our under-23s.”

Hart made 18 appearances while on loan with Blues, who are looking for a new left-back following the departures of Ben Coker and Stephen Hendrie.

But Mowbray knows not all of Blackburn’s young players will cope in the Championship.

“The message will be that they will start the season with us and we’ll see where they are,” he said.

“If our ambition is to try and get out of the division then it’s difficult to think that a group of entirely young footballers will be able to do that.”