MICHAEL Gray has hailed the role Morten Gamst Pedersen has played in Blackburn Rovers' impressive start to the new season.

After a sticky start to his career in England, Pedersen has since developed into one of the most exciting goalscoring midfielders in the Premiership.

And Gray believes the industrious Norwegian is going to get even better over the next few years because of his desire to be the best in the business.

The 24-year-old wideman, who joined Rovers last summer for a bargain £1.5 million fee, was already a cult hero amongst Blackburn fans after his goals kept the club out of relegation trouble during the second half of last season.

Now the rest of the Premiership seems to be sitting up and taking notice of Mark Hughes' blond bomber, particularly after his recent exploits at Old Trafford, where he scored twice as Rovers beat Manchester United at the 'Theatre of Dreams' for the first time in 43 years.

Gray said: "I think everyone has seen what Morten can do over the last few weeks.

"He's a tremendous finisher, as he showed with those two goals at Old Trafford recently.

"Aftter training, we have shooting practice and it's optional if you want to stay behind or not.

"But you can see from that that Morten certainly has something in his left thigh because the pace with which he hits a ball is unreal.

"He has other skills as well, though. He's got an all-round game.

"I think when he first came to England he maybe struggled to adapt to the game over here, but if you look at most foreigners they seem to struggle to pick up the pace of our game in the first month or so.

"But Morten has certainly done that now and he's done it very quickly.

"Towards the end of last season his form was fantastic, and I think he's started where he left off at the beginning of this season.

"And if he keeps topping off his performances with goals then that can only be good for us."

Pedersen scored eight times in 27 appearances for Rovers last season and he's carried that form on this term, notching three times in nine games so far.