Having scored his first goal in the win against Derby, Joe Rothwell is now eyeing another Rovers first.

Rothwell is yet to start three consecutive games since his summer move from Oxford United and Tuesday’s game was just the first time since August he has played back-to-back matches.

The 24-year-old impressed and got the goal his performance deserved 15 minutes from time to set Rovers on their way to a 2-0 victory.

That was just an eighth league start for Rothwell who has to be patient for opportunities, despite featuring in 28 of Rovers’ 41 league matches.

The attacking midfielder was forced off in the closing stages with a tight hamstring, but is hoping to shake that off to feature at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

He said: “It’s been a while since I played back to back games. Hopefully I can play back-to-back-to-back games and keep my place until the end of the season.

“I haven’t played back-to-back games in a long time and it maybe took its toll on me. 

“I didn’t want to let the team down so thought it was best for fresh legs to come on.

“I should be alright for the weekend though, and hopefully keep my shirt.”

Rothwell had missed two good opportunities prior to opening his account for the club, seeing one effort blocked on the line before firing over after linking up with Bradley Dack.

But he said that didn’t dent his confidence when running through on goal before lifting the ball over the advancing goalkeeper to put Rovers ahead.

“It’s been a long time coming. I have had a few chances and it’s not quite dropped for me, even before I scored,” Rothwell said.

“I knew I just had to keep getting in the right positions and thankfully another one came my way.

“I remember getting through and lifting it over the keeper. When I saw it going towards the corner I was already off celebrating, then I had to double check it was going in when it headed towards the post, and thankfully it went in.

“So it was a big relief.

“It was one of those things, I knew I just had to keep getting in to the right positions.

“Even the few shots I did have, I knew that I’d get another and just had to put it away.”

Rothwell was preferred to Adam Armstrong on the left flank against Derby and was quickly in to the action driving at the heart of the Rams defence.

His non-selection for most of the season has been a surprise to some supporters, though boss Mowbray is keen to see Rothwell work harder out of possession.

His dribbling and close control remains his biggest strength however, and he said: “That’s a big part of my game and why the manager puts me in the team sometimes.

“I try and get on the ball, drive forward, and get the team up the pitch.

“That’s a massive part of my game. I work on it every day in training and take that out on to the pitch.”

Rovers had won just once in their previous 11 games before overcoming Frank Lampard’s side which moved them to 50 points.

That should guarantee another season of Championship football, with still five games of the season left.

Though despite nine defeats in 11 before Tuesday’s win, Rothwell feels they have deserved more from their recent showings.

“Even in the last few weeks I think we’ve played quite well,” he added.

“When things aren’t going your way though, they don’t quite drop for you.

“I think everything went our way and we put the ball in the net which was the most important thing.

“We scored and then knew they were going to try and come at us in the last 15.

“It was just about us holding our nerve and then thankfully we’ve caught them on the counter and Dacky stuck it away.”