Tony Mowbray says Adam Armstrong’s stunning strike at Reading was just reward for the attacker’s hard graft in the early weeks of the season.

The boss hopes that can now be the catalyst for the 22-year-old to kickstart his campaign as Rovers look to continue their upward trajectory.

Armstrong had scored just once since being named Championship player of the month in January but opened his account with an excellent 25-yard effort in Rovers’ 2-1 win.

Their bid for a hat-trick of September wins sees them host Luton Town on Saturday with Armstrong aiming to kick on after opening his account.

“I was delighted for Adam. He works ever so hard,” the Rovers boss said.

“He’s a centre forward by trade but I’ve got him running down that wing, tracking back.

“It was a big ask of him but he played a key part in us winning the game.”

“It’s not the first time he’s bent one in to the top corner, when he plays off the left and cuts in on his left foot he can be pretty deadly.”

Armstrong has started six of Rovers’ opening eight league games, including two in his preferred central striker role, had missed a penalty in the Carabao Cup defeat at Sheffield United last month.

He was due to be on the bench at the Madejski Stadium until Joe Rothwell was pulled out of the squad because of illness.

Asked how much confidence Armstrong could take from the goal, Mowbray added: “A lot, I hope.

“Adam was one of the players that probably wouldn’t have started but when he was told he was starting on the morning of the game then that’s something you know he can do.

“Adam will score goals this season as it’s part of his game

“Adam’s a big player for us and the days that he doesn’t start he should never feel that he’s not part of the bigger picture, because he is.”

Armstrong took his chance on the left side of the Rovers attack when drafted in on the morning of the game.

He will hope that is enough to see his continue in the side against Luton and with two wins since the international, the former Newcastle man says confidence is high in the camp.

“It’s pleasing, little setbacks like that are always going to happen in football and that’s why we have a good squad of players.

“When you go to places like Reading it’s always tough, but those are the games we need to win to keep pushing us up the league.

“Hopefully this is the starting point to really kick on now, especially with two games coming up at our place.

“We’ve got Luton at home so we’ll be looking to do the same again.”