Tony Mowbray was keen to give Lewis Holtby time to ease in to life at Rovers and hopes that will prove to be beneficial in the long run.

Holtby scored on his first start for the club, and set up the second for Bradley Dack, on what was a fourth appearance since signing as a free agent last month.

The German had been used off the bench in his three previous matches since arriving at Ewood Park, with Mowbray wanting to let the 29-year-old come to terms with what’s expected of him before throwing him in.

While the boss still sees areas in which Holtby can improve, he is confident that a period of adjustment will serve him well.

“I think it was always going to be Holtby’s first start,” Mowbray revealed.

“We talked him through his first month at the club and said we’d get to the international break and give him some game-time, get him used to it.

“The things I think he has to improve and get better at are his positional sense of how we play and where he needs to be on the pitch. While it can be exciting when he’s running off everywhere and trying to create chances, he also has a responsibility out of possession.

“He had to learn that, we took three or four weeks to drill that in to him and I thought he was good at the weekend, did his defensive duties well and scored a goal, made a goal, should have scored a second.

“We’re pleased with him, he’s a creative player, and if he continues in the same vain of creating and scoring then he will hopefully a long and successful career here.”

Holtby will hope to keep his place for tonight’s trip to Birmingham where Rovers will be aiming to end a four-game wait for a win.

The Blues are under new management, with Pep Clotet getting the top job in the summer, and Mowbray has seen a clear shift in style from tonight’s opponents.

“I think they will have plenty of threats,” the boss added.

“Having watched them, they are a very different team to last year, they have more technical players in there.

“They have signed some players, (Alvaro) Giminez up front is a very technical player, they have some clever wide players, it’s changed quite a bit their team to be honest.

“They still have (Lukas) Jutkiewicz at the top end of the pitch who’s a real handful. But it’s a different team. They built their success off two banks of four and two strikers and being a hardworking, honest team.

“They’re much more technical now, moving the ball through the lines so I think it will be a good game, entertaining. We have to be mindful of their quality, be organised, work hard.

“It will be a tight game but hopefully one we can come out on top in.”