Rovers needed Sam Szmodics to step up in the final third this season, and the attacking midfielder has done exactly that.

Szmodics showed glimpses of what he was capable of last term, scoring seven goals in all competitions.

However, there was pressure on the former Peterborough man to boost his numbers following the departures of Ben Brereton and Bradley Dack over the summer.

Szmodics’ strike in the 2-1 defeat against Preston North End last week saw the 28-year-old reach double figures and no other player in the Championship can match his goal tally at this stage of the campaign.

The midfielder is determined to build on his strong start to the season and keep contributing in the final third as Jon Dahl Tomasson’s men aim to climb the table.

Szmodics admits he didn’t expect to hit the 10-goal mark this early in the campaign but insists he will not be resting on his laurels any time soon.

“I’ve just got to keep scoring,” he told Rovers TV. “I had double figures in mind coming into the season.

“Playing in midfield, I felt 10 goals would be a brilliant return. Being on what I am now is a real positive and I’ve just got to keep going.

“I’ve got to keep getting myself into those positions and I hope the ball falls to me."

Former Rovers man Adam Armstrong is joint-second in the Championship Golden Boot race with Sunderland’s Jack Clarke, having scored nine goals each.

Plymouth youngster Morgan Whittaker and Norwich wideman Jonathan Rowe complete the top five ahead of the busy December period.

Meanwhile, Zak Gilsenan was absent from the Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad for their 3-2 defeat against Norway on Friday afternoon.

Aidomo Emakhu and Sinclair Armstrong were both on target for Jim Crawford’s side at the Marienlyst Stadion in Drammen.

The Irish youngsters are back in action on Tuesday when they welcome Italy to Turners Cross Stadium in Cork.