DOMINIC Samuel is without a goal in three months and has struggled for form and fitness of late.

And boss Tony Mowbray admits the 23-year-old's confidence has taken a hit having not scored since the FA Cup tie against Crewe Alexandra on December 3.

The 23-year-old has missed the last two matches with an ankle injury picked up in the win at Walsall on February 24 and was given a run-out in the Lancashire Senior Cup tie with Bury on Wednesday.

Samuel, a £500,000 signing from Reading last summer, has eight goals so far this season and was Rovers' main striking option in the early months of the season.

But Mowbray said: “Dominic has had a few knocks and his confidence is a bit low.

“He had a knock so hasn’t been involved in the squads.

“He went over on his ankle against Walsall and he got a run-out for the Under-23s but looked as though he needed a game.

“He showed early season what he can bring with his power and ability to shoot from distance. He needs to find that again, it’s a confidence thing, particularly with strikers and if you get some run-outs from the bench and don’t score then it feels like another game (without a goal).”

Samuel has started just one league game this calendar year in his favoured central striking role having mainly been used in a wide right role.

January signing Adam Armstrong and Danny Graham have overtaken Samuel in the pecking order, while he also faces competition from both Marcus Antonsson and Joe Nuttall.

But Mowbray says Samuel has to believe he has a part to play in the remaining 10 games this season and while his first-team chances may seem blocked for now, hard work on the training ground will be key.

He added: “What he probably needs is a run of games but at this moment Danny is doing exceptionally well, scoring goals, Bradley (Dack) is an instant pick in the team and Adam is scoring goals so at this moment he has to be patient and work hard in training, do extra work, extra finishing and build his confidence on the training ground and should be bursting out of his skin to get put on the pitch to score goals, as we need that from everyone.

“Antonsson and Conway are back so it’s important that they are all believing they have an important part to play in the final 10 games.”