Tony Mowbray feels a lack of game-time last season is hindering £5m man Sam Gallagher but the boss has backed the Rovers striker to come good.

Gallagher is yet to score in his 10 Championship outings for Rovers since his move from Southampton and has often been used on the right wing.

The 24-year-old was the club’s No.1 target this summer to add competition to Danny Graham but only has a headed goal at Sheffield United in the Carabao Cup to show for his efforts in front of goal. Gallagher netted 12 times during a loan spell at Ewood Park in 2016/17 but after regular football for Birmingham in the Championship the follow season, last term he played just 149 minutes for Southampton.

“Ultimately Sam was brought here as a centre forward and he has to score goals,” Mowbray said.

“I think Sam is probably suffering from a lack of games in the last few years in my opinion.

“He probably fell through the cracks at Southampton, always on the bench, always an unused sub, missing the Under-23s game in midweek.

“Then week after week goes by and you don’t actually get minutes on the pitch.

“I think Sam is probably suffering from that a little bit.

“Longer-term I’m confident Sam will come good and score goals.

“We would have all loved on day one for him to come in and bang a hat-trick in. That’s not the case.

“He has to learn the way we play. He has direct competition for the No.9 spot, we’ve got Danny Graham who has scored goals non-stop for two-and-a-half years, we’ve got Ben Brereton, Dominic Samuel is back, there’s lots of competition in the forward areas of the pitch.

“That’s without Dack, Rothwell and Holtby.

“For me, I’m happy to have the options and the choices.”

Gallagher scored 12 times during Rovers’ relegation campaign of 2016/17, with the forward a regular under Mowbray after he took charge in February of that season.

And whether scoring goals or not, Mowbray still feels Gallagher’s attributes can make him an effective tool for Rovers to deploy.

He added: When he’s not scoring goals you wouldn’t want to play against him.

“He’s 6’4, mobile, strong, I think he’s just suffering from a lack of game-time over the last few years.

“We’re trying to give him that. I don’t like calling him a project, but something we have to ease him in to.

For Sam. its something as we move on, I talk about the analysis booths we’ve introduced, I think the future is where will show what a talent he is.

“Hopefully he brings those huge attributes to our team as soon as possible.”

Gallagher and Ben Brereton, at £6m and £5m respectively, are Rovers’ two big-money buys under Mowbray, with the boss having faith that their attributes will prove invaluable.

And he says Gallagher is working hard behind the scenes to continually improve his game.

“I think for us he’s an asset and the attributes he has we have to turn in to a top footballer and I’m confident we can,” Mowbray explained.

“We have to get him on the pitch, show him all the things he does really well, the things he needs to improve on which is what we’re doing.

“He’s fine with that, he wants to contribute and as I’ve always done, I tend to buy assets and coach the assets in to the way we want to play.

“His assets of power, speed and size is something we can put the ball in front of and let him off the leash. He’s just learning the position and how we want him to do it.”