Tony Mowbray believes top scorer Adam Armstrong will only get stronger – with the Rovers boss hoping to have even more options available for this weekend’s trip to Wigan Athletic.

Mowbray felt his ability to switch his entire front three in the midway point of the second half was crucial in the victory over Bristol City, as the manager took advantage of the ability to make five substitutions.

Armstrong was a surprise omission from the starting line-up, Mowbray later revealing the 23-year-old top scorer had been forced to self-isolate for 10 days earlier this month, but he came off the bench to score goal number 13 of a productive season.

Ryan Nyambe missed out with a dead leg, while Amari’i Bell and Derrick Williams were also absent, as Joe Rankin-Costello

added his name to the injury list late on.

But in their quest for the top six, Mowbray said: “It was great to have the bench we had to be able to take off the front three and put another front three on, that’s fantastic for this football club to be able to do that.

“Adam Armstrong literally trained for 10 days because he had to self-isolate, so that’s why he started on the bench and he came on and scored a wonderful goal like we know he can.

“Bradley Johnson, it was harsh he didn’t start because he’s done well for us since coming back.

“He came on so Stewy Downing could fill in at left back, we did pick up a few niggles, as everyone will with the intensity you’re trying to drive them to having not had a pre-season, if we’re calling it that, for these nine games.

“We’ve got good options at the moment but we need people to stay fit. John Buckley is on a three match suspension, Nyambe, Amari’i Bell and Derrick Williams all unavailable.

“Let’s just hope they’re not too far away and the squad just keeps rolling on.”

Mowbray sent on Armstrong, alongside Danny Graham and Dominic Samuel, in a straight switch upfront, and fresh legs paid dividends when Armstrong grabbed Rovers’ third.

He could have had a hat-trick in 10 minutes, passing up good opportunities either side of his well-taken goal.

Mowbray admits there is strength in depth across the Championship, not least last weekend’s opponents who had an array of talent on their bench. But it was Rovers’ changes which worked the better in a new-look 4-3-3 formation.

He added: “I think there’s bigger and more well-stocked clubs than us, their bench wasn’t bad was it, Benik Afobe, Nahki Wells and Kasey Palmer. I would suggest theirs was pretty strong.

“But it was great for us to be able to do that, save the legs or give them a different problem.

“We have a bit of work to do with Adam after missing 10 days, it was great. All the substitutes, did well.

“You would have to say that Joe Rothwell, our most direct dribbler and ball carrier didn’t get on the pitch so he’ll be chomping at the bit.”

Armstrong will make his 150th appearance under Mowbray, spanning spells at both Rovers and Coventry, at the DW Stadium this weekend.

He now has 51 goals in that time, and has 10, plus five assists, in his last 20 matches. It’s been a fine return for the former Newcastle man, with Mowbray delighted with his impact off the bench.

“He has that quality, Adam doing what he does best, similar to what he did in the away game at Ashton Gate,” the manager said,.

“He wasn’t particularly happy this week when he knew he wasn’t in the starting XI, but as I said, he missed 10 days of training.

“He went on to score a wonderful goal, just like we know he can.”