Gary Bowyer feels star striker Jordan Rhodes may need some time to hit his stride after returning from injuries that blighted his pre-season preparations.
The 25-year-old missed a chunk of pre-season after sustaining an ankle injury in Rovers’ opening game against Accrington Stanley and he was then forced to limp off after aggravating the problem following a heavy challenge in the second game of the season against Huddersfield.
Having missed the games against Cardiff and Brighton in the league, Bowyer pitched the Scotland international back into the frame for the Lancashire derby against Bolton at Ewood Park last Friday.
Although he missed a couple of half-chances to break the deadlock against Neil Lennon’s Trotters, Bowyer was happy to see the striker getting a full game under his belt.
“Jordan is only going to get better with more game time,” Bowyer told Radio Rovers.
“I thought he did tremendously well to last the full 90 against Bolton. He had two great headers, two good opportunities.
“He’s missed pre-season and he’s missed the start of the season for us really, so he is only going to get better with his timing and get better with match fitness.”
Rhodes has been a revelation for Blackburn since he joined from Huddersfield in the summer of 2012, scoring 73 league goals in three seasons at Ewood Park.
He was the subject of much transfer speculation over the summer months, with Championship rivals Middlesbrough keen on securing his services, but Bowyer managed to keep hold of his leading goalscorer.
Blackburn next travel to Craven Cottage to face Fulham on September 13 and Rovers are 3.00 to earn their first Championship victory of the new season in London.