Fitness has been key to Bradley Johnson’s impressive start to the season, according to Tony Mowbray.

The Rovers midfielder was named as the Championship’s player of the month for September after scoring three goals and helping the club to six points.

Johnson enjoyed a similarly promising first month of the season last term after his tree transfer move from Derby County, but it wasn’t until Project Restart that he cemented his place in the side once again.

He’s carried that form into this season, proving to be a key man in a new-look three-man midfield, with his ability to get around the pitch much improved.

And Mowbray says that is allowing the 33-year-old to show exactly the kind of player Rovers signed.

He has already matched his tally of three goals from his debut season at the club, and had three nominations in the Championship team of the week.

And the Rovers boss said of the midfielder: “Bradley is really growing into this football club.

“His performances have been exceptional so far this season and let’s see if he can maintain it.

“I think we’re seeing the player that we know he is. We’ve worked really hard on his fitness levels and I think it’s paying dividends now.

“He’s running, he’s closing down, he’s winning the ball back, he’s getting high up the pitch and he’s scoring goals, and the team are benefitting from that.”

Meanwhile, the first of Johnson’s two long-range strikes against Derby County has been shortlisted for the Championship goal of the month award for September.

He’s up against Reading’s Michael Olise (Reading) and Fraizer Campbell (Huddersfield).