Lewis Holtby is all too aware of the threats posed by a side under new management, even if they are without a win in three months.

Barnsley appointed Gerhard Struber this week and he will take charge of the Reds for the first time at Ewood Park this afternoon.

They arrive without a win since the opening day, and are five points from safety, with Struber brought in as a replacement for Daniel Stendel who was sacked six weeks ago.

Rovers have already lost to the other two newly-promoted sides, Charlton and Luton, at their headquarters, and are in need of points themselves having underperformed in the opening 16 games.

Holtby is hoping a busy winter schedule will provide them with the opportunity to start climbing the table, but knows they’ll need to be up for the challenge against a motivated Barnsley side.

He said: “We have to be up for it. They are bottom of the table and haven’t won for a long time, but it’s going to be tough.

“They have a new manager, everyone will want to show themselves, everyone will be motivated. They want to start the winter period with a positive result so it will be an intense game. We have to be up for it, on the front foot for the whole 90 minutes and get that win.

“Keeping a clean sheet would be something for us, something we’ve been working on.

“Three points would get everyone going again, lift everyone, and then I think that’s something you need to get on a run and climb up the table.

“You can be 18th but with three or four good results you can be right up there.”