Sorba Thomas won praise from Jon Dahl Tomasson for his performance on his Rovers debut.

The head coach felt the January loan signing was a threat operating from the right flank, and was as likely as anyone to help Rovers break through.

In the end Rovers had to settle for a point, held to a goalless draw by Wigan Athletic on Monday night, with Thomas coming off with cramp with 10 minutes to play.

It was only a second competitive start of 2023 for the Wales international, though Tomasson did watch the 24-year-old in close quarters when played an hour of Rovers Under-21s’ Premier League International Cup win over Celtic last week.

Tomasson quickly thrust Thomas into the action, having been ineligible to feature in the FA Cup ties with Birmingham City, and was pleased with what he saw.

“He was getting used to things which is normal. New team-mates, new ground,” Tomasson said.

“He had good pace, he was dangerous and created something. He could've had an assist or a goal if we had been more clinical. 

“I think it’s always good to have different options in your selection first of all, depending on the games, depending on form, and as I said he could have scored.

“It would have been a great first game, and he could have had an assist if we were more alert in the box.

“I think there was a lot of pace and he was dangerous.”

Thomas provided the width on the right flank, with full back Joe Rankin-Costello often operating inside to allow Rovers to feed the ball out to the new signing at every opportunity.

Wigan pressed Rovers’ wide players back in the first half, but Thomas became much more involved after the break, and looked the most likely to help them break the deadlock.

“We changed things a bit at half time,” Tomasson added.

“On the other hand we were dangerous in the first half and the opponent didn’t really get any opportunities.

“We were solid so in that way I thought we had three or four things where we could have been more dangerous.

“We were sitting back, but they were not dangerous.”

Thomas was preferred on the right side of the Rovers attack to Ryan Hedges and Tyrhys Dolan and upon signing, was described as a player who could provide ‘X-Factor’ in the final third by director of football Gregg Broughton.

He quickly assumed set piece duties as expected, and following a difficult first half he grew into the game after the break and received a good ovation from the crowd when replaced late on.

“We could have been a bit more clinical at times but I enjoyed it, I enjoyed being around the crowd and thought it was a lot of fun,” Thomas told RoversTV of his debut.

“In the first half, it came down to the last pass or the last shot. We were so much better in the second half, we pressed higher up the pitch and created so many chances.

“It was that last ball or the last contact.

“We created a lot of chances and we just needed to get on the end of them and put them away.

“We have to put those chances away to finish the game.

“We know it was two points dropped.

“It’s frustrating because we know how the next few games are going to be big for us and our push for the play-offs. We can do it, we know we have the squad to do it."