Steve Kean heaped praise on Jordan Rhodes after the Scotland striker fired unbeaten Blackburn to the top of the npower Championship with two goals in a 5-3 victory at Bristol City.
Rhodes, a big-money transfer window recruit from Huddersfield, opened his Blackburn goals account and earned praise from his manager in the process.
Kean said: "It wasn't just the way he took his goals. I don't think he gave the ball away all afternoon and his link-up play was excellent. The great thing when you buy a quality striker is that when he gets a chance you expect him to score.
"But there is much more to Jordan's game than finding the back of the net and he is open to plenty of improvement at such a young age.
"It's great to be top of the Championship, even this early in the season, but it goes without saying that we need to improve defensively."
Albert Adomah took just 45 seconds to thread a shot between Rovers defenders and inside the far post from Jon Stead's lay-off to give the home side the lead. Blackburn equalised after 28 minutes when a mistake by Liam Fontaine allowed Rhodes to race clear and coolly shoot past the advancing Tom Heaton.
Rhodes turned goal-maker after 56 minutes, shielding the ball and creating space for Nuno Gomes to sweep home a low shot. But back came Bristol City, with Adomah teeing up Stephen Pearson to slot home a 70th-minute equaliser before Rovers substitute Ruben Rochina made it 3-2 with a solo run and shot.
City substitute Sam Baldock levelled from the edge of the box, only for injury-time strikes from Scott Dann, with a fierce volley. and Rhodes, with an exquisite curling shot, to give Blackburn the points.
Bristol City boss Derek McInnes was critical of his side's defending, saying: "We had to work for our goals, but each of Blackburn's should have been prevented. I was very disappointed in that aspect of our play, particularly as there were so many positives going forward.
"Albert Adomah caused them so many problems. We felt we could score goals against Blackburn, but I never envisaged us conceding five."