BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer has challenged Jason Lowe to add goals to his game after handing the midfielder a contract extension.

Bowyer is delighted with the progress the 22-year-old has made this season and was only too happy to sanction a deal that ties him to the club until 2017.

But he believes the next step for Lowe, who has gone 95 games without scoring for Rovers, is to start hitting the net.

Bowyer said: “He’s worked very hard to get better and credit to him.

“You can talk to managers up and down the country and they’d all want a Jason Lowe in their team.

“But what he is doing this season is showing he can be more than just one of those unsung heroes.

“He’s bringing more to his game and he’s trying to become that old-fashioned midfielder that can do a bit of everything.

“The next stage is to get some goals into him.

“If he can do that it will make him even better.

“We’re not putting a restriction on him just to sit in front of the back four.

“We want him to get up there and contribute goals as well.”

Lowe put pen to paper on his contract extension on Friday.

It was not only reward for the England U21 international’s performances this season – he has been man-of-the-match in both of Rovers’ last two home games – but to ward off interest from potential suitors.

Bowyer has had no official approach for Lowe but he has been tipped off from contacts within the game that clubs have been monitoring his progress.

“It goes hand in hand – if you’re putting in good performances it alerts other clubs and brings attention,” said Bowyer, who joked the mature Lowe is the ‘oldest 22-year-old you’ll ever meet’.

“We’re fortunate that he’s committed to us.”

Lowe is now in his 10th year at Rovers after signing for the club when he was 12.

Bowyer has played a key role in his development having previously been the Academy graduate’s manager at youth team and reserve team level.

Bowyer said: “He’s a pleasure to work with and a pleasure to know as a lad.”