Walking away as the player, and players’ player of the year, scoring 15 goals and featuring in all but three of Rovers’ Championship matches, Danny Graham’s aim is simple – ‘maintain those standards’.

Graham triggered a contract extension on the deal signed last summer to take him in to next season as he looks to continuing being the go-to man in attack.

The striker will be 34 in August but if anything is getting better with age. Rovers will look to become less reliant, if possible, on the physicality of the frontman, with boss Tony Mowbray keen to add more options in attack.

But after an excellent personal season, which saw him net a first senior hat-trick in 10 years against Sheffield Wednesday last December, Graham is looking forward to the challenge.

And from a team perspective, he’s hoping Rovers can show greater consistency, having fallen away in the second half of a campaign in which they looked at one stage to be vying for a possible play-off spot at the turn of the year.

He said: “I look back on last season with good memories, but we could have done better and did let ourselves down a bit in February and March.

 “But we know what to expect in the Championship and will hopefully have learnt from the mistakes of last season.

 “My target is to maintain those standards from last season and ensure I start in the team and stay in the team.”

With Mowbray in charge, and Harry Chapman’s return in January followed by the arrival of Stewart Downing last week, the north-east connection, which includes Graham and midfielder Richie Smallwood, has been strengthened. Graham has taken Chapman, some 12 years his junior, under his wing, with the pair regularly travelling in together.

And that has continued throughout the summer with the pair looking to reach peak fitness for the start of the new season.

“Me and Chappy have been in for a couple of weeks over the summer to give ourselves the best chance of being fit and ready to go,” Graham told the club website.

“I’ve had a great summer and it’s been good to have some time off, reflect on last season and see my family.

 “After a long season the break was needed. Everyone is looking forward to getting going and having a strong season.”