Paul Keegan has lavished praise on Harry Middleton but warned his fellow Rovers midfielder that he will push him all the way.
Middleton last week signed a new three and a half year contract, rewarding him for an excellent season to date.
Most recently that has been spent in the deeper lying midfield role that was typically occupied by Keegan in the past.
And the Irishman says he has been impressed by the youngster’s recent performances.
“Harry has been knocking on the door for the last couple of years,” Keegan told The Star.
“He’s a very good player and a good lad as well. He listens, he wants to learn.
“I’ve always been talking to Harry and helping him out.
“He’s done very well since he’s been in and credit to him.
“I think he’ll continue to do well in there and hope I can push him as much as possible.”
Keegan has struggled with a knee injury for much of the current campaign but came off the bench to score a stunning free kick at League One leaders Burton Albion last weekend.
His injury problems have limited him to just seven appearances this season.
The 31-year-old spoke of his frustration at his spell on the sidelines but says he hopes to be in a position to push for starts in the near future.
Keegan said: “You want to play and want to go on and help the lads.
“I’m getting fit. I’ve had a slow start to the year with my knee, getting fit and coming back. Once I get fit and get ready, I work hard in training and hopefully I’ll get a chance.”