Lewis Holtby is playing the best football of his Rovers career with Tony Mowbray feeling the German midfielder is becoming a leader on the field.

Holtby completed his fourth 90 minutes of the season in the 4-0 win at Coventry City, a feat he managed just once last season, with his 27 appearances made up of 16 starts and 11 as a substitute.

His signing as a free agent last season brought real intrigue and excitement, but injuries dampened those expectations as he struggled to find his top form.

It had been hoped that he could take over the attacking midfield mantle in the absence of Bradley Dack, but as injury hit just weeks after his two-goal salvo in the 5-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday, he struggled to recapture that form.

However, he has been given a key role in the new-look 4-3-3 this season, playing in a more central role than we’ve seen previously, and that has allowed him to dictate the game with both the ball at his feet, and with his voice.

That is a constant presence on the field, with the next piece of the jigsaw to become more clinical infront of goal.

The 30-year-old scored a fine free-kick in the Carabao Cup win at Doncaster, before seeing an effort ruled out for offside on the opening day at Bournemouth.

Since then he has missed big chances in the defeat at Newcastle, and in the win over Coventry where he could have had a hat-trick in the first half.

Holtby is back in the side after being granted some leave with his wife and new-born child in Germany, which ruled him out of the Nottingham Forest defeat, but upon his return, Mowbray always knew the playmaker would more than pay him back.

And he feels he’s finding his feet in the side, and back in the English game, with Rovers the biggest benefactors.

The manager told the Lancashire Telegraph: “I think he’s come back really focused.

“He drives the team for me on the pitch, his voice is quite pertinent but he doesn’t like it when I shout at him sometimes about his positional play.

“He should have scored a hat-trick in the first half in my opinion, but the fact he’s getting into those areas and the fact he can understand his position.

“He’s played right at the top level, for Fulham and Tottenham in the Premier League, he’s played for Hamburg in the Bundesliga, and he’s an amazing guy.

“He’s had a wonderful week or two in his life, his first child has been born and he’s on a high and loving his football.

“We’re delighted that he’s enjoying his game and long may that continue.

“It’s probably the best he’s been since we had him. To come from Germany and try and settle back in the north west, it’s not easy, and now his wife has gone back to Germany so he’s been living on his own for the last three or four months.

“But he looks like he’s enjoying his football again.”