Dominic Samuel says it shouldn’t take a mounting injury list to sense the opportunity for a starting spot but is hoping more involvement won’t be too much longer in the waiting.

Samuel made a first outing of 2020 when thrown on in the second half of Rovers’ weekend defeat to Fulham as they chased an equaliser.

The 25-year-old had made two substitute appearances earlier in the campaign, after returning from more than 12 months out with a cruciate ligament injury, before being struck by a groin problem that set him back.

But with other attackers now suffering similar disappointment with injuries, Samuel hopes his time to shine is coming.

He said: “No-one likes to see players get injured, but with the amount we’ve got, that’s why you’ve always got to stay on top of your game and work hard in training.

“When your time comes you have to impress the manager.

“With the injuries we’ve got, not just myself but a few other players as well, will have to look at that and think ‘I might have a chance here’.

“But you should be like that every day, whether there are injuries or not, you have to work hard in training every day.”

Samuel has been in and out of the matchday squad of late, but has kept up his fitness this season with nine appearances for the Under-23s, scoring eight times.

And while a different environment and level, Samuel says any minutes are welcomed given his search for match sharpness.

“That’s when you have to be professional and if you need to play for the Under-23s for some match fitness then you do,” he added.

“I know the Under-23s is completely different to first-team football, but it’s better than just sitting around and doing nothing.

“It might take a little bit of time to get match fitness back, but that will come in time as long as you stay ready and keep working hard for your chance.”

Samuel played just three times last season before injury struck, having enjoyed a fine start to life in a Rovers shirt with five goals in his first month at the club following a £500,000 move from Reading.

“It’s been a while, I’ve had to be patient, because the players we’ve got, the squad is quite big. That’s football,” he said.

“For me personally all I’ve got to do is keep my head down, work hard and as it did the other day, my chance came.”