Rovers boss Tony Mowbray is pleased with the progression of Dominic Samuel in pre-season after scoring in Thursday’s win over Everton.

Samuel’s confidence took a hit in the final months of last season after failing to find the back of the net since November.

He raced to five in the opening month of last season after a £500,000 summer move from Reading but found opportunities hard to come by in the second half of the season.

But the 23-year-old, who has worked with a personal trainer over the summer, has twice come through 90 minutes in pre-season and scored Rovers’ second goal in the victory over Everton.

That leaves him in pole position to start the opening game of the season at Ipswich Town next week as Tony Mowbray’s wait to bring in new attacking players goes on.

“I judge them on how hard they work and how well they take on the information and Dominic does that,” Mowbray said.

“We scored a lot of goals last year to achieve what we did, who scored them didn’t matter to me.

“But I was pleased he was scored.

“I think there will be times when he plays down the middle and sometimes he will play wide.

“He can do both and we have to utilise his attributes. He’s strong and probably the fastest player we’ve got on our books.

“He’s quite young in terms of league games and I’m sure he’ll improve.

“That’s why we brought him here so we can use the attributes to try and improve the footballer and his knowledge of the game.

“I’m sure he’ll get better as he goes on.”

Derrick Williams missed Thursday’s win over Everton, with Amari’i Bell taking his place at left-back.

But Williams is expected to be fit for the opening day, with the 25-year-old likely to be only difference in the team that was picked against Everton that starts against Ipswich.

This afternoon’s friendly at Accrington Stanley will give Mowbray a chance to hand 90 minutes to the rest of his squad, who he admits still could force their way in to his opening day plans.

The boss added: “We’ve still got a week to go and we have to hope that we don’t pick up any injuries along the way.

“Everyone is working extremely hard, we have to keep them focussed.

“I haven’t started studying Ipswich yet. Lowey (coach David Lowe) went to watch them at MK Dons this week and we’ll watch them against West Ham this weekend and then I formulate a plan after that to go there and see how we get on.”

Meanwhile, Rovers are tying up a deal to bring Chelsea youngster Kasey Palmer to Ewood Park.

The 21-year-old attacking midfielder is set to sign for Rovers on loan in a boost to the club’s attacking options.

Palmer won promotion from the Championship with Huddersfield Town in 2016/17 and finished last season with Derby County.

The England youth international is primed to become Rovers’ third summer signing after Joe Rothwell and Jacob Davenport.