Sam Szmodics hopes the benefit of a full Jon Dahl Tomasson pre-season can help him continue where he left off last season.

His move to Ewood Park didn’t come until last season had got under way, meaning this is Szmodics’ first pre-season as a Rovers player.

He marked his debut at Swansea City with a goal, but it was an otherwise difficult start to life at Rovers for the attack-minded midfielder who even found himself dropping into the Under-21s.

While his turnaround in fortunes wasn’t at the same level of Joe Rankin-Costello, who finished just ahead of him in the player of the season vote, Szmodics enjoyed an upturn of his own.

That saw him finish the season as a key player under Tomasson, with 14 consecutive starts to finish the season, while his seven-goal haul was only beaten by top scorer Ben Brereton.

After the uncertainty of last summer, given the protracted negotiations between Rovers and Peterborough United, Szmodics is happy to be fully focused on preparing himself for a big season.

“It’s nice to be settled,” Szmodics told the Lancashire Telegraph from the club’s Austria training camp.

“I had an up and down start to the season at Blackburn but finished it really well and I’ve been really happy to be back.

“It’s a great club, I feel settled and it’s good to be at a pre-season at a brilliant club and one that you know is your home and you’re not going anymore and can focus on your game.

“Last year it was ‘am I going to Blackburn, am I staying at Peterborough’ and not knowing what league you’re going to be in so it’s good.”

His lack of a pre-season with Rovers may have played a part in his slow start, with Szmodics admitting it has taken time to become accustomed to the tactical demands of the head coach.

“I’m still learning from the manager now,” he explained.

“The manager is very tactical, probably the best tactical manager I’ve worked under, and he’s so defined about what he wants from you on and off the ball and I’m at a stage now where I’ve been here a year, I know how he works, how the staff works and it’s about helping others.

“We have some new boys and some younger lads, and I was in that position last year coming into a new team, a Championship team having been relegated and it’s a completely different way of playing

“But I’m used to it now and hopefully I can help others.”

Rovers have so far added two attacking players to the squad, but more are expected before the new season gets under way.

Tomasson has stressed the need for reinforcements in a bid to add more firepower to the ranks, but equally Szmodics said there is a realisation from those already at the club that they need to do more.

“It’s a case of the boys that are in the attacking positions need to step up,” he explained.

“I got seven goals last year, my target was 10, and I think I go into the season confident that I can smash that this year because you know how the manager wants you to play and the areas he wants you to get in.

“I think it’s a case of before we focus on outside of the club, as a player, we’ve got goalscorers in the team, myself included, we need to step up and add more goal contributions and then we can focus on getting other players in.

“Bez (Ben Brereton) and Dacky (Bradley Dack) combined got us 20 goals that we need to find from somewhere and we need to step-up.”

The signing of Szmodics came with question marks given the similarity of position to Dack.

While Szmodics always insisted they could play in the same side, due to their difference in styles, they were only named in the same starting line-up on two occasions.

This summer Rovers decided against triggering the option within Dack’s deal, allowing him to leave on a free transfer.

Asked if he felt any pressure upon his arrival, Szmodics said:  “No, I knew Dacky from before, I knew of him.

“Coming here people maybe questioned that I played the same position as him, but we’re very different players and there was never a reason why we couldn’t play together, the way the manager set up the system.

“We didn’t feature a lot together, one of us had to play out of position, but I could see myself playing with him, everyone knows his ability on the ball and he was a great leader and friend to everyone at the club.

“Hopefully he can find a club that can use those attributes that he has.”

Szmodics is a competitive animal, with his all-action displays on the pitch replicated in training.

It’s no surprise therefore that he feels ready to play 90 minutes should he get the opportunity when Rovers face TSV Hartberg in a friendly double-header tomorrow.

He said: “You do your work over the summer, you do lose a bit of fitness but it doesn’t take long to regain that.

“We’ve had a nice week-and-a-half training before Accrington, which was tough, we’ve come out here and you don’t realise how much tougher it is in the warmer weather.

“The manager is working us hard but he’s giving us our rest and I think that’s important.

“The manager wants you to work hard but with the quality and I think you’ve seen we try and keep the quality as high as we can.

“Hopefully we can get 90 minutes, I feel fit enough, so hopefully that will take us into next week in good stead.”