Joe Grayson is hoping to live up to his ‘Mulgrew Mk II’ comparison after signing a new long-term deal at Rovers.

The defender, who made his first team debut in August has penned a two-and-half-year deal at the club through to 2021.

The 19-year-old is regularly compared to Rovers captain Charlie Mulgrew given they share a position and a deadly left foot.

Grayson is more than happy with the comparison to 33-year-old Mulgrew who has played in the Champions League with Celtic as well as captaining Scotland.

“That’s all everyone says to me, that I’m a younger Charlie,” Grayson said after signing his new deal.

“It’s a huge compliment for me because the captain of the club and a great player.

“He’s someone I can base my game on and hopefully have the career and appearances that he’s had.

“He’s a talented player, a good player and a good player around the building.

“I want to keep improving and hopefully going out on loan and getting that first team experience and who knows what happens from there.

“But I will keep working hard in training every day to try and make that happen.”

Grayson has become a regular for Rovers Under-23s over the last two years, playing on the left side of a back three for Damien Johnson’s Under-23s side who won promotion to Premier League 2 last season.

He was rewarded for his progress with a start against Lincoln in the Carabao Cup, following dad Simon in pulling on the blue and white halves.

And Grayson, who previously played in midfield, said it was the decision of first team boss Mowbray, just days in to the job, to try him in a back three.

He added: “It was Tony when he first came in wanted to try a back three.

“He wanted to see me as that left-sided centre half and I did well the first couple of games.

“I have tried to keep improving in there, playing more and more games, and that’s where I see my future.

“Since he came to the club he’s been fantastic, particularly with me, he’s always there helping me.

“He’s been great all around the club.

“He was in the job four days before coming to watch the Under-23s and is there every home game and as an Under-23s team we can’t ask for any more from the gaffer.

“He’s fantastic with us.”

Grayson has come through the ranks at Rovers and signed his first professional contract in June 2017, but that was due to expire next summer.

He has been with the club since the age of seven and admits he couldn’t have wished for a better end to 2018 than agreeing fresh terms with the club, four months on from making his senior bow.

“Having been here 12 years this is what I’ve always wanted,” said Grayson, who played for the Under-23s in yesterday’s win over Swansea.

“It’s been a really good 12 months.

“I’m coming in to training and enjoying it

“I have been here 12 years and all you think about when you first join is playing for the first team.

“Training with the lads gives you that incentive to keep going and when I made my debut I’m just wanting to kick on now and get more appearances.”