Tony Mowbray says Joe Rothwell has showed remarkable improvements since arriving at Rovers back in June.
A signing from Oxford United, Joe became capture number one of the summer, and the boss admits he is thrilled at how far the playmaker has come in the last few months at Ewood Park.
“What I’d say about Joe Rothwell is that physically he was nowhere near the standard when he first arrived here at Rovers," Mowbray said.
“I brought him here because of his talent, his attributes with the ball. I saw something in him that said we could mould him into a really talented wide player or a central attacker.
“When you are playing against teams who have immobile central midfield players then you can put Joe in there and he will run and run and run.
“What he needs to add to his game is that defensive instinct, reading the danger and pushing opponents away from our box.
“He’s taking things on board and having got some fitness results back this week, Joe has come out as our second most athletic player. He was a million miles away from that when he first arrived."
Rothwell's impressed everyone with his early season performances both off the bench and as a starter.
The 23-year-old has shown his technical quality, pace and energy when called upon as well as a versatile side as well.
So, having been an unused substitute against Aston Villa and then at Derby, how close is Rothwell to getting further game time?
“Is he nearly there? I think so. I’ve said to him today that he’s like a pitbull on a leash at the moment. He’s ready to go!
“It’s really difficult to keep him out of the team. I like him and I liked Jack Payne, who is a similar sort of player.
“Rothweil will be given an opportunity to play in the Championship week in, week out. What he understands is that he is here for the long-term and not the short-term.
“He has to adapt and perform when he is given the opportunity. Rothwell is probably the fastest or in the top two fastest players in our football club. Add to that that he is tracking back, tracking full backs and he is understanding our way.
“He’s probably never had to do that before but until you do you never know whether you can do it or not."