John Buckley can play a big part for Rovers in the final months of the campaign, says John Eustace.

Buckley returned to action against Cardiff in midweek, coming off the bench for the final half hour following a spell out of action with a shoulder issue.

The midfielder had a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday during the first half of the campaign but his time with the Owls was cut short by the injury.

“We are missing a couple of the experienced lads for that central midfield role. Obviously, John Buckley came on and did very well,” said Eustace.

“I thought the pace of the game kind of suited him at that point. We have got some good options there and it is very competitive for the starting XI.

“I am a huge admirer of John, a very talented footballer. He looks after the ball very well and can really get the team ticking when he is on form.

“It was a great boost to have him back after his injury. He is going to play a big part from now until the end of the season, I am sure.”

Rovers face a tough test against Norwich at Ewood Park this weekend as they aim to build on their point at Cardiff.

The Canaries are in strong form as they aim to break into the play-off places and push for promotion to the top flight.

“I am expecting a really difficult game,” Eustace added. “They are a top team, a fantastic squad of players who have all been there and done it.

“They have been promoted out of the league as well and the recruitment at Norwich is very good. They have got a good manager who has got a promotion under his belt.

“We know it is going to be a difficult game but it is one we are really looking forward to.”

It is still early days in Eustace’s tenure and the former Birmingham boss says there is a healthy atmosphere in training, with players keen to catch his eye in the hope of earning an opportunity on matchday.

“It is always about the squad,” he explained. “It is not about any individual player.

“We know the Championship is relentless and you need 22 or 23 players to really play their part throughout the season.

“The way the lads have trained – the non-starters, even the ones who have been starting – they have been fully committed and a pleasure to work with so far.”

Rovers currently sit 16th in the Championship table with a six-point cushion above the relegation zone.

“The only thing I am really thinking about is the next game,” Eustace insisted. “I have said that we need to get to 50 points as quickly as we can.

“It is important that we are competitive and have the right gameplan to try and get three points.”