Danny Graham felt it should have been his shirt to lose but is hoping back-to-back starts can be the beginning of a run in the team.

Graham has opened up on a frustrating opening to the season – but says he never thought of taking up the opportunity of a move to Australia in September.

The win at Stoke City was the first time the 34-year-old has made back-to-back starts, and just his sixth in all this season, following the arrival of Sam Gallagher.

West Sydney Wanderers offered Graham the opportunity to move Down Under, with a two-year contract on the table, but the striker says it was never under consideration.

Instead he is focused on playing a key role for Rovers, despite having found his bit-part role hard to take after 15 goals last season.

“I think I struggled at the start, I’ll hold my hands up,” Graham said.

“I always said that after last year I felt it should have been my shirt to lose.

“That wasn’t the case, I did struggle with that at the start, but I’m getting on with it and working hard every day in training.

“If I’m an option off the bench or to start then I’m happy as long as the team is winning, it doesn’t matter.”

Graham’s return to the side proved popular with the fans having not started since being replaced at half-time in the QPR defeat on October 4.

He revealed he did have a conversation with manager Tony Mowbray about his role in the side, but is focused on working hard in training and believes he still has plenty to offer.

He added: “I would like to have a little run in the team and feel as though I deserve that.

“It has been difficult after last year, I found myself straight out of the team.

“I had a conversation with the gaffer about it, and I have found it tough at spells.

“I’ve never once downed tools, I have been in to see him on one occasion, but that’s it, no other occasion

“I have had to work hard and bide my time to get back in the team.

“It’s been a bit up and down, but I know where I’m at, I know what I can bring to this football team and this football club.

“I need to keep working hard, training well and if I’m not selected I know that coming on I can have an impact. If I’m starting games I know I can help the team throughout.

“It’s a case of getting my head down and working hard every day.”

Graham has six months left to run on his contract at Ewood Park, but asked if the offer of a contract from the A-League side was ever something he considered, said bluntly: “No.

“It was discussed, the manager pulled me and said that there was a contract there for two years in Australia and that was as far as the conversation went.

“He felt he had to tell me and said ‘fair enough’ and that was that.

“I’ve said many times, whether I’m playing or not, I love it at this football club, I’m contracted until the end of the season and my aim is to see that out and do as well as I can for this club.”

Rovers host Derby tomorrow aiming to make it four consecutive wins and back up their three November successes at Ewood.

Their recent nine point haul has moved them back in to the top half, but Graham doesn’t want that forward momentum to go to waste.

He added: “It’s been a massive week, the run we had before that was nowhere near good enough.

“We could feel the unrest around the place, among the fans, and rightly so.

“To turn it around with a week like we had was great, but we need to keep it going. We have another three game week now and let’s not undo the hard work we’ve done.”