Stewart Downing says Rovers need to start sharing the goals around – even if Bradley Dack were fit.

Downing took his tally to three, and his now joint-third highest scorer, after netting in the New Year’s Day defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Dack, who underwent surgery on Monday and will miss the rest of the season with an anterior knee ligament injury scored 10 goals before injury struck on December 23.

Downing says Rovers could never become reliant on the 26-year-old for goals however, and says it is up to everyone else to step up and fill the goalscoring void.

“Even when Dacky was fit, you can’t just rely on him to get you the goals,” he told the Lancashire Telegraph.

“That’s what the manager has stressed, whether Dacky is fit or not, we need more goals from all areas.

“Losing Dacky, I can’t hide that, but it’s up to other people to step up and give the manager problems and make sure you have a future at the club.

“If you don’t score goals or chip in then he’ll find another solution.

“If you just rely on one or two players to get you the goals then you’ll finish where you finish, the bottom half.

“You look at the top teams and goals come from everywhere, even the defenders chip in with two or three a season.”

Rovers dropped to 13th in the table, and five points outside the play-off spots, after taking just two points from their four games over the Christmas and new year period.

Defeat in the FA Cup third round at Birmingham City last weekend made it three successive defeats for Tony Mowbray’s side who host Lancashire neighbours Preston on Saturday.

Rovers remain in play-off contention, despite the dip in form, having climbed in to the top half following good form in late November and early December.

And Downing says a similar run of form is all it will take for optimism to return to Ewood Park.

He added: “That’s what the manager has said, ‘don’t look at the table.

“If you look at the table then we’re in the bottom half but with some wins, you can flip that on its head.

“We have already done that once and went from 17th to the top eight.

“I wouldn’t look at the table until later in the season.

“Our aim now is to try and get back on track, and we’ll finish where we finish.

“We have aspirations to finish high.

“All of a sudden, with goals, you can jump several places.

“You look at those things and that’s what the top teams have, they have goals from everywhere.”