BEN Brereton sees no reason why Rovers should not be competing at the sharp end of the Championship next season.

The £7 million forward is looking to hit the ground running in his second campaign at Ewood Park and played the first 45 minutes of the opening friendly at Barrow on Saturday.

On a personal level the 20-year-old will be looking to kick on after opening his Rovers account in his penultimate appearance of last season against Bolton.

Looking at the bigger picture, Brereton is more than confident Rovers will be able to improve on 15th on their return to the Championship, Tony Mowbray's side having flirted with a play-off push at one point before falling away. 

“Last season I wasn't here at the beginning of the campaign, but there were spells we looked like we might sneak into those play-offs," the former Nottingham Forest man told the club website.

“Last season was our first back in the Championship.

"We've had a taste of it and now we want to improve and hopefully push on to those play-off places.

“I think we'll be better as a team this season.

"Every team in the league wants to get in the top six, but it's about putting in the work in both on and off the pitch.

“As a collective, as a team, with the quality we've got, hopefully we can push on towards those play-off positions.”

Brereton made 28 appearances in all competitions but had to wait until the end of April for his first goal in blue and white, opening the scoring on the half hour in a 2-0 win over Wanderers.

His move from the City Ground was initially on loan before being made permanent in the January transfer window.