Bradley Johnson says he is his own biggest critic and admits: ‘I know I’ve not been at it the last few games’.

Summer signing Johnson started eight of Rovers’ opening nine games, but has been an unused substitute in five of the next seven after a dip in form.

Boss Tony Mowbray has challenged the 32-year-old to reach the levels of the opening month of the season where he felt Johnson was the club’s star performer.

Johnson agrees, but is putting demands on himself to win back his place in the starting XI after the international break. And he hopes putting in the hard yards will work in his favour when Rovers return to action against Barnsley.

“I’ve been disappointed, but I’ve been disappointed with myself, I know I’ve not been at it the last few games,” Johnson said.

“I started the majority of games earlier in the season, have come out of the team for a bit and it’s hard to get up and going. But that’s down to me.

“I’ve been working hard on the training pitch, doing extra, and I want to get in the team now.

“I want to win as much as anyone else.

“It’s a team game and I know I’m not going to play every game but when I do play I want to be at my best and hopefully I can do that and get back to where I was.”

Johnson struck up an excellent understanding alongside Lewis Travis in the early weeks of the season, but Mowbray has since named nine central midfield pairings in a bid to find a winning formula.

Rovers have already matched their tally of goals from central midfield as last season, with Travis on target against Luton Town in September, with Johnson opening his account for the club in the defeat at West Bromwich Albion on August 31.

Johnson missed out against former club Leeds United before the international break, and hasn’t featured since being substituted on the hour mark against Birmingham City on October 22.

Mowbray has backed him to get back in the team sooner rather than later, though the midfielder agreed with the boss’ assessment of his recent displays.

“I agree with him,” he said, speaking at Avondale primary school in Darwen as part of a Blackburn Rovers Community Trust event.

“I’m my biggest critic. When I have a bad game I beat myself up about it, I don’t need to be told I’ve had a bad game.

“I’m old enough now and played enough games.

“I know every game won’t go the way I want but the character I’ve got, I believe in my ability and know I’ll get back to it and I just want to get out there and get a run of games and results.”