Zak Gilsenan continues to stake his claim for a place in the first-team after a brace for Blackburn Rovers Under-21s on Tuesday night.

Unfortunately, Rovers were knocked out of the Premier League Cup, losing 6-2 to Aston Villa at Bodymoor Heath.

Gilsenan has been in red-hot form for Mike Sheron's side and has now scored nine goals in his last six outings. That has seen him nominated for Premier League 2 Player of the Month for February.

The Republic of Ireland junior was given a taste of first-team football by Jon Dahl Tomasson at the start of the season but hasn't featured in the last few months.

The tricky winger made his Championship debut in the dying minutes at Queens Park Rangers in October having impressed in the Carabao Cup. Gilsenan scored twice in that competition and fans have been calling to see more of him now John Eustace has the reigns.

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Gilsenan has done his chances of further involvement no harm. He netted from the penalty spot and then in stoppage time to add some respectability to the score line. 

The 20-year-old has been training with Eustace's first-team group since his arrival. On the possibility of more minutes, he said: “I have only seen him train twice but he has certainly caught my eye on the coaching staff’s eye,” said the Rovers boss.

“He is a really exciting young player and he’s in a rich vein of form at the moment, scoring goals for the under-23s. He is someone we are monitoring and we are really pleased to have him here.

“He has trained with the first team since we have been here and again, it is about assessing the squad and seeing if there is room to bring young Zak in.

“But I am sure he will play a part at some point from now until the end of the season.”

Connor O'Riordan played 90 minutes for the U21s as he was cup-tied and couldn't feature against Newcastle United. Youngster Ben Fyles also enjoyed a memorable night, making his injury comeback after almost 12 months on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.

Blackburn Rovers: Eastham; Olsen, O'Riordan, Atcheson; Duru, Haddow (Doherty 76'), Weston, Batty (Powell 45'); O'Grady-Macken (Fyles 76'), Gilsenan, Biniek (Nsangou 45').