BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer has been impressed by the burgeoning strike partnership between Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede – even if he could break it up for tonight’s FA Cup third round replay at Manchester City.

The front two combined on Saturday when top scorer Rhodes sent over an inch-perfect cross for new boy Gestede to score the only goal of the game against Doncaster.

Yet Bowyer may adopt a 4-5-1 formation for tonight’s trip to Manchester.

Saturday was only the third match that the strikers have started together since Gestede signed – initially on loan – from Cardiff City.

But in those three games they have managed to score three times between them.

However it is not only their prowess in front of goal that has pleased their manager.

Bowyer said: “They’re looking very good. In the first half on Saturday they were a handful.

“Their movement was good and the way they linked up with each other was good.

“The goal itself was a fantastic cross from Jordan – and the desire and determination to get on the end of it by the big man was magnificent.

“The pair of them worked their socks off.

“It’s not just the defenders and midfielders that do the defending.

“Those two really worked very hard from the front and they start everything off in terms of the defending for us.

“They chased lost causes and the goal was an example of what can happen when you do that.”

Bowyer, whose side head to City’s Etihad Stadium tonight for the third-round replay, said of Gestede: “He’s going to get better and better, the big man.

“He’s settled in very well, very quickly and had a massive effect in the last three games that’s for sure.

“But he’s going to get better as he gets fitter and stronger and be a real handful.”

Bowyer was also delighted with the impact made by midfielders Ben Marshall and Tom Cairney and believes both will continue to improve with the pair set to feature at City tonight.

The Rovers boss added: “I thought Ben was outstanding in the first half on Saturday.

“He was a real threat and he’s just got better and better as the games have gone on – long may that continue.

“He’s just desperate for a goal now, he’s getting closer and closer to getting it, as is Tom Cairney.”