Tony Mowbray says Richie Smallwood remains a key cog in the Rovers machine, and adds that he doubts many have the same determination as the number six.
For the first time in his Rovers league career, Smallwood was on the bench for our last outing at Bolton Wanderers.
The ex-Middlesbrough and Rotherham United man had previously started all league games since joining the club in the summer of 2017.
But despite Richie's run coming to an end, Mowbray maintains that the 27-year-old is still a hugely valuable piece of the Rovers team.
“Richie Smallwood brings the soul and the competitive edge to our team. There are faster, sharper footballers than him, but not many who have as much heart and desire as he has," Mowbray told iFollow Rovers.
“He’s an important player for us who does his job well. He’s like a metronome. He'll just keep going and going and going for the good of the team.
“He plays in the team because he earns the right to play. If we were getting beat every week and Richie was a problem then he wouldn’t be playing.
“But that’s not the case. He’s competitive and his tacking inspires our team and gives us a chance to win matches when he turns the ball over and threads a pass.
“I’ve always gone on about soldiers and artists since I’ve been here and Richie certainly fits into that category."