GARY Rowett reckons the best is yet to come from striker Rene Howe after the summer signing started with two goals in two games for Burton Albion.
Howe, 26, missed much of pre-season training as he looked for a club having left Torquay United.
He is still playing catch-up to the rest of the Brewers squad – and Rowett is confident his striker will go from strength to strength as the season progresses.
“I think he’s one of those players you take a little time to see the best of,” said the Albion boss ahead of tomorrow’s home League Two clash with Bury, kick-off 3pm.
“His performances and fitness are improving all the time.
“You could even see an improvement from the Rochdale game to the Fleetwood game in the space of a week.”
Rowett thinks Howe – who was linked with moves to League One clubs in the summer – could make a step up in the game if he has a good season at the Pirelli Stadium.
“I really think he can improve much more,” said the Brewers boss. “If he comes here and works harder than before, he’s got all the attributes he needs to play higher in the game.
“It’s a big season for him.
“He just needs games and needs time.
“I expect players to work harder here than they might have been used to before - that’s something we’re quite big on.”
Howe, who is expected to start against the Shakers up front alongside Adam McGurk, was originally denied a debut goal in the 1-0 home win over Rochdale, with an appeal to the Football League this week getting an own goal decision overturned.
Rowett is pleased for his frontman, who after scoring the opener in last week’s 3-2 win at Fleetwood Town, is going hunting for three in three.
“I think justice was done,” said the Brewers boss.
“If you’re a striker and you score a goal, and it gets put as an own goal, it’s a injustice - scoring goals is your lifeblood.
“It seemed a little bit strange on the day, and it’s nice for him to get the recognition he deserves.
“Two in two for him is an excellent start to the season - it’s a just reward for his couple of performances.”
Billy Kee (thigh) and Zander Diamond (foot) will miss tomorrow’s match, while for Bury’s Shaun Harrad it will be another return to the club where he enjoyed promotion to the Football League.
Bury also feature former Derby County left-back Gareth Roberts.