Tony Mowbray felt Ben Brereton ‘did okay in flashes’ on his second league start for Rovers in the defeat at Reading.

The Rovers boss opted to rotate at the Madejski Stadium, with Brereton starting as part of a front three which didn’t include regular strike pairing Danny Graham and Bradley Dack.

Both were on the bench, coming on in the second half, as Rovers chased for a way back in to the game, eventually going down 2-1.

Brereton again operated on the right flank and had one excellent chance just before being taken off around the hour mark, only to shoot over from eight yards on his left foot.

The 19-year-old, still waiting for his first goal, was involved in plenty of Rovers’ build-up play, but the visitors were ultimately left frustrated by their lack of care in the final third.

“I thought he did okay in flashes,” Mowbray said of Brereton.

“Ben Brereton has lots of quality, I see it every day in training. He’s a boy who we are excited about for the future and looking forward to him becoming a regular player in our team.

“At this moment we have to be patient but he’s a really exciting prospect.

“He finds it hard to get in front of Dack or Graham. With the games programme we’ve got, Danny Graham is 33 and Bradley is carrying a knock. He didn’t even train the last few days and it was only (on Wednesday) we decided he’d be okay for the bench.

“We’ve got a home game on Sunday, and although our record is good, we have to get back to winning ways in a tough game with Middlesbrough.

“I thought we could come here and more than compete and I thought we did without Graham and Dack, but maybe that final 20 yards wasn’t what we’d hoped for.”

Brereton, booked in the first half, was replaced by Joe Rothwell, one of three players introduced off the bench as Rovers searched for an equaliser.

It came through an unlikely source, Amari’i Bell steering home his first for the club from a Rothwell pass, only to then concede a second goal within four minutes.

On replacing Brereton, Mowbray added: “He was tired, he hasn’t been playing.

“He was booked as well and sometimes you can put in tired challenges.

“But there was no problem. The players sitting behind me on the bench were good players and needed an opportunity as well.

“We’re frustrated to lose a game we controlled for long spells and had lots of opportunities without them being clear-cut.

“We’re a bit bemused how we lost that game, but we have to accept it.”