Tony Mowbray expects a ‘resurgence’ in Bradley Johnson but has challenged the Rovers midfielder win back his place in the side.

Mowbray feels the summer signing ‘dropped away’ after being one of the club’s standout performers in the opening month in which he started all six games.

However, the 32-year-old has started just four of the next nine games and has been an unused substitute for the last two matches. Johnson and Lewis Travis started all six August matches in the middle of the park, but Mowbray has mixed up his pairings since.

Johnson made 140 appearances across three-and-a-half years with this afternoon’s opponents Leeds United where he will be eyeing a recall ahead of the upcoming international break.

“I’ve had some good chats with Bradley this week to be honest and I’m sure we’ll see a resurgence of him appearing in the team,” Mowbray told the Lancashire Telegraph.

“I can’t play everyone, he fits in with that category. We have to get his levels back to where they were at the start of the season because in my opinion he was probably one of our best performers in the first five or six games.

“I think that dropped away a bit, but we have to get him back to where we really believe he can help us push on.”

Lewis Travis was recalled to the side against Sheffield Wednesday having been left out against Preston where captain Elliott Bennett and Corry Evans were partnered together in the middle of the park.

Evans has started three of the last four matches away from Ewood Park, while Stewart Downing is another option for the boss.

The additions of Johnson and Downing were part of Mowbray’s quest to add more experience to his squad, and he feels the former Derby County man will soon be back in the starting XI, whether that comes against his former side or not.

“Johnno played for Leeds so he knows the expectations there,” Mowbray added.

“He’s good to have around the place, he’s a good professional I would have to say.

“He’s out there training hard every day. I just think there are some things we need to work on with him to get him back to where he was.

“I don’t have any agendas when I picked teams, Bradley is the same as the rest.

“I don’t sit there and think about things like that when I’m picking the team. I pick the team I feel has got the best chance of getting us a result.

“He’s very conscious of the things he needs to do and what we need to work on him with and I’m sure we’ll see a top Bradley Johnson very soon.”