After the 2-0 defeat at Fulham, and his first appearance of the season, Derrick Williams made clear his intentions to make it as a central defender.

Charlie Mulgrew had been loaned to Wigan two days earlier, with left back Greg Cunningham brought in from Cardiff on deadline day.

Williams had previously played much of the first two seasons for Rovers as a left back, with an injury-hit 2018/19 campaign seeing him fill in there, as well as in central defence.

It is there Williams feels he has more to offer, telling Tony Mowbray as much this summer.

His revelation caused something of a stir at the time, but the 26-year-old has responded with five excellent performances, including two goals, and the Republic of Ireland international is enjoying his football.

He told the club website: “You have to believe in yourself and I've always had that.

"I always knew I'd be a better centre half, it was just about making that leap.

“It was eating away at me and I didn't want to think 'what if I'd said I only want to be a centre half' 10 years down the line.

“I had a chat with the gaffer and although it's early days I really want to take it further.

“It's a risk you have to take at times and I knew I had to back it up with performances. I want to keep working and getting better at centre half.

“We got a lot of criticism last season for the goals that we conceded and I'm definitely someone who wants to prove the doubters wrong.

“It's given me that fire in my belly and hopefully I can keep it up now and keep going."

Williams didn’t feature for Rovers during pre-season because of injury, but has worked hard with the medical team to boost his fitness and play a pivotal role in the early weeks.

He became a father for the first time in July and believes that could have played a part in his new approach to the game. Williams credits himself with an increased hunger this term and his own harshest critic, the former Bristol City man is continually looking to improve.

He added: “I feel like I'm playing well and my confidence is high. I worked really hard with the physio team in the summer and I'm more driven than I've ever been.

“I know what I want and I'm so driven for it now. I want to keep this level of performance up and to try and get better every day.

“Why am I more driven? I don't know whether it's because of my newborn child or not, but it's always been there, I've felt.

“I do everything right. I get in early, I get extra work to make sure I'm right and invest more in myself.

“I know this is just the start and it's about doing it day in, day out to earn the rewards."