Tony Mowbray was full of praise for the performance of Richie Smallwood in Tuesday night's 3-1 win over Coventry City.
The summer signing from Rotherham United put in a dominant display in the centre of the park, capped by a well-taken first half goal - his first for the club - to help Rovers progress through to the second round of the Carabao Cup.
The Rovers boss also revealed that the midfielder is just as vocal in the dressing room as he is on the pitch, and has been delighted with his contribution since his arrival.
"I think you get a seven and a half, eight out of ten from Richie Smallwood every game," said Mowbray.
"He's the voice in the dressing room before we go out, he's the one clapping and encouraging, talking about what is required. He's the voice of the team really. He plays like his personality is.
"I've talked about artists and soldiers and you stick a big brand on Richie's forehead saying soldier.
"He goes around and he tackles everybody on the pitch and he passes well enough. He never stops running, he recovers and gets back into good areas for the team.
"You ally that to the quality of a Peter Whittingham or a Corry Evans and it isn't a bad combination."
Smallwood and Rovers are back in action this Saturday when Doncaster Rovers are the visitors to Ewood Park.
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