LEWIS Travis knows he needs to take the opportunities which come his way as he looks to force his way in to the Rovers starting line-up.

And he praised the work of Under-23 coaches Damien Johnson and David Dunn for their role in his development having become a fixture in the matchday 18 in recent months.

Travis impressed off the bench in his eighth first-team appearance as Rovers came from 2-0 down to earn a point against Oldham Athletic on Saturday.

The 20-year-old is expected to be part of the squad for tonight’s game at Portsmouth and the utility man is now looking to get his name in the starting line-up.

“That’s probably one of my better games that I’ve played with the first team,” he said of his weekend cameo.

“Most of my chances have come in central midfield and hopefully I’ve given a good account of myself.

“I always like to do the dirty side of the game but I like to go forward, as you saw with the free-kick I won for the goal.

“You always have to get an opportunity in football, whether that’s a bit of luck like I have had with the injuries to Corry (Evans) and Peter Whittingham.

“When you get the chance I knew what I needed to do and I had to take it.”

Travis’ maturity and hunger have been praised by Rovers boss Tony Mowbray, with the youngster’s progress having been rewarded with a new long-term deal earlier this month.

Having started the season as part of Johnson’s table-topping Under-23 side, Travis has now become part of Mowbray’s first-team squad, making three league appearances to date.

On the influence of the Under-23s coaching staff, he said: “Everyone knows what they do on and off the field, but behind the scenes I will do my own individual practices with Dunny and Damien working on the bad parts of my game and trying to get better to try and get in the first-team and when I get in there I can take my chance.

“David Dunn shows me a thing or two. He still fancies himself as a player!”

Travis’ eight first-team outings have been spread across the Checkatrade Trophy, FA Cup and League One and he revealed that he had discussed his Rovers chances with Mowbray and Johnson earlier this season.

He added: “We had a chat and I they said if I carried on doing what I was for the Under-23s week in, week out then I would get my chance in the first-team.

“When you go in (to the first-team dressing room) it’s quite nerve-wracking but you need to show what you’re all about.

“There’s maybe a bit of pressure to do well and show the team and the gaffer what you’re about but when you get used to it you come in to your own.

“In training you can’t mess about, you have to treat it as if it’s a game and show the gaffer what you’re about and tackling is a part of my game.”

He added: “The long-term contract, I was over the moon with.

“The gaffer sat me down and said that he wanted to offer it me which shows that they are backing you and he trusts me.”

Mowbray is an admirer of Travis and praised his weekend display.

The boss said: “It should give him huge confidence, he changed positions seamlessly and was equally comfortable out wide playing as an attacking full-back or wing-back.

“To go and play central midfield and rotate that position with (Elliott) Bennett was seamless.

“He’s a mature young lad, he’s always knocking on my door, if he’s not playing for the first-team he wants to play the next night for the Under-23s, he’s very hungry to play football.

“We have to feed that by not disappointing him too often and giving him game-time and I’m sure his personality and character will demand he gets in the team as move forward.”