Tony Mowbray fully expects Adam Armstrong to be even better this season – but isn’t giving any guarantees the attacker will start against his former club tomorrow night.

The 23-year-old was named Rovers’ player of the year last term, as well as taking the goal of the season award for his stunning strike at Cardiff City and walked away as top scorer with 17.

He has started this season with two goals in two games, off the mark in the Championship against Bournemouth, and looks set to be given the chance to play in his favoured central striking role moving forward.

Mowbray admits Armstrong has eased himself in to pre-season, but fully expects a stellar season from the frontman he first signed back in 2015 when at Coventry City.

Armstrong scored against his boyhood club who he left to sign for Rovers in 2018 when the sides met in an FA Cup replay at Ewood Park .

Asked if he sees the former Newcastle man kicking on again this season, Mowbray said: “I think he will. He’s eased his way into training, I’ve been moaning to him in training about his work ethic. I thought he was okay, I know there’s more.

“People who have watched us a lot have seen him on the left wing, doing the leg work up and down, but scoring, but his time has come to play where he believes he should play and where we think he’s probably the most potent and score the most goals.

“He should be looking to get 20, or more, every season because he doesn’t bat an eyelid, left foot or right foot, probably doesn’t score enough headers, but a brilliant finisher, off both feet very natural.

“He’s really fast from a standing start, electric speed.

“I think Adam Armstrong is going to get a lot of goals this season.”

Armstrong started the St James’ Park meeting in January 2019 where Rovers earned a 1-1 draw, with the Premier League side needing extra time to see them off in the Ewood replay when Armstrong found the back of the net.

But with an important Championship fixture against Wycombe on Saturday, Mowbray says he would prefer to see Armstrong’s trademark angel of the north celebration at Ewood at the weekend, rather than in the striker’s native north east.

“It’s not a shoo-in that Adam Armstrong will play because he’s going back to Newcastle, what’s more important for me is that he scores against Wycombe on Saturday than Newcastle on Tuesday,” Mowbray added.

“I’ll have a chat with him, see what his mentality is. Some players will feel that they need game-time if they’re going to play 40-odd games this season so ‘let’s keep going’ but others will be feeling the extra work and the niggles from training.

“I’ll see where Adam is.”

“If we rotate it will probably be among the front players because while they have to try and burst away and score goals they have to track back and get in to the right positions for the next attack.

“It’s quite demanding on the strikers. Adam will want to play, we’ll see how his body is feeling.

“Newcastle away, we’ve played them recently, lost a pretty tight game, but we’ll go and give it our best shot.

“If we go out of the cup then we’ll have a few more Saturday to Saturday matches, rather than Saturday-Tuesday but will be going there trying to win.”