An impressive young full back with statistics to back it up, Rovers are unbeaten in the last nine matches that Ryan Nyambe has started.

His 14 starts have brought 23 points, compared with 16 points from the 13 matches he hasn’t started. But your eyes can often tell you more than the stats, Rovers look a more well-rounded side with him in it.

There are few more conscientious footballers than Nyambe, a willing worker who puts in the hard yard behind the scenes, staying out after training to develop his game.

His delivery from the wide areas (no assists yet this season), and his ability in the air (losing 24 of his 41 headers), are two facets of his game that requirement improvement. Physically, there are few who can match him (winning 19 of his 25 duels).

But with the help of first-team coach David Lowe, working on the training pitches to improve his technical ability, and Damien Johnson in the analysis rooms working on his game-intelligence, there is no shortage of support being thrown his way, and willingness on his part.

Equally, there is plenty of goodwill from the stands for the defender who having arrived at Rovers at the age of 13 has become an international in the last seven months, pledging his allegiance to Namibia who he represented in the Africa Cup of Nations, as well as their November qualifiers.

Nyambe credits that with bringing on his game, but Rovers will be mindful of his international commitments given the hamstring problems he has encountered of late.

He has had four separate injury absences in the last 12 months, all hamstring related, something manager Tony Mowbray puts down to the full back pushing his body to its maximum at every opportunity.

Nyambe missed the Barnsley game on November 23 having been unable to train in the lead up to that match after a lengthy trip back to East Lancashire from Guinea the weekend before.

Rovers will be reluctant to allow Nyambe to feature in Namibia’s game with Mali on March 22, with a Championship fixture at Barnsley 24 hours earlier. The return game in Mali on March 30 does fall within the European international break, and discussions between player, club and international federation are expected.

Nyambe has already asked to be excused from international duty this season, not featuring in either the September or October matches, to focus on winning his place back in the Rovers side.

Then, he was behind Elliott Bennett in the pecking order, but only injury has forced Nyambe out of the reckoning since coming back in to the team against Brentford on November 27.

He started five matches between October 19 and November 9, before the injury on international duty, before returning to make seven in a row.

His Rovers career so far has followed a similar pattern. His 25 starts last year were spread across three separate runs in the team, one of 10 games, and two of seven, with 90 minutes against Bolton in April his only involvement in the final six games.

In the League One promotion season, where injuries again hampered him, Nyambe’s appearances were largely contained between the months of October and March.

His aim now is to try and become more robust so to nail down his spot in the side long-term as he closes in on a century of league appearances for the club since making his bow in November 2017.

There were signs of a maturity shining through at Sheffield Wednesday. In the first half his marauding runs, so common place in his game, helped Rovers get up the pitch and pin Wednesday back.

By the time Darragh Lenihan made it 4-0 within three minutes of the second half starting, the game was done for Rovers.

That could have been an opportune moment to take him off, but sensing there was no need to extend himself and put in those trademark lung-bursting breaks forward, Nyambe held his width, offering an option for Stewart Downing to switch the play, and then kept things simple when he received it.

“We have put a lot of work into Ryan Nyambe. He was like Cafu in the first-half, running up and down that right-wing in-front of me in the dugout,” Mowbray explained.

And he admits the coaching staff deserve great praise for the way Nyambe is developing.

He said: “I think Damien Johnson and David Lowe deserve a lot of credit on the work they do after training with Ryan. In his credit, Ryan is a very willing footballer who wants to do the work.

“If the team finish at midday, for example, Ryan is more often than not still out on the pitch at 12.45 still bending balls down the line, heading balls away, training his crossing and developing various parts of his game.

“He’s got the physical attributes to play in any league at any level, he has the power, physicality and speed to stop people getting past him, he just has to develop the technical side to his game, which will continue over time and then we’ll have really good full-back on our hands.”