GARY Bowyer believes there are not many midfielders in the Championship who can compare to Hope Akpan.

And Rovers boss Bowyer is backing the Nigeria international to get even better the more games he gets under his belt.

Akpan, 24, has developed into a fan favourite since his summer switch from league rivals Reading.

And Bowyer said: “It’s part of our recruitment policy where we look at people who we feel can improve and get better – and he’s exactly that.

“He’s come in, had to wait to get his opportunity, but since he’s had his opportunity he’s got better and better.

“There’s a lot more to come from him.

“He’s got power and pace in midfield and there’s not many like that in this division.

“We hope he will continue to show the same form he is showing and get better.”

Darragh Lenihan, meanwhile, has been called-up into the Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad for their UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying double-header against Lithuania in Vilnius on November 13 and against Norway in Waterford in November 17.

Rovers midfielder Lenihan captains the young Irish side who could go top of the ultra-competitive Group Two with a victory over Lithuania.

They currently sit level on nine points with Italy, Serbia and Slovenia having won three of their first four matches.