Ben Brereton is showing Tony Mowbray an increased level of physicality which the manager hopes bodes well for the future.

Brereton has started three matches since the re-start, having missed the same number through suspension after his red card at Barnsley, and scored his first goal of the season in the win over Reading.

It was just his second since his big-money move from Nottingham Forest, and Mowbray admits it hasn’t been smooth running for the 21-year-old who has struggled to find his feet at Ewood.

But the manager hopes the lockdown period allowing the attacker to work on his physique will benefit him in the long run.

There were promising signs from the former England youth international who operated in a front two with Adam Armstrong, with both on the scoresheet, as was Sam Gallagher who came off the bench to score the winner.

“I can't disguise the fact that we signed those lads for big money, but it hasn't really been smooth, they haven't hit the ground running," Mowbray told the club website of Brereton and matchwinner Gallagher.

“Brereton's like a beast now, and he can score goals. I see it every day in training. He's a brilliant lad and all our lads absolutely love him.

“He's filled out now and he will work so hard for this team. He's very gifted and can score goals.

“I can see the physicality level of Brereton these days and he's really looking like a man now, and scored a great goal.

“He worked his socks off and the more he plays the more confident he'll become.

“Sometimes players do take some time to settle in, and I've said that before.

“We've paid a few quid for Ben and for Sam, and ultimately they need to earn their corn by putting the ball in the net."