ROVERS’ second half performance against Leicester was one to be proud of.

The way we came out of the blocks after half time surprised everyone, not least the Foxes.

So impressed was Leicester assistant boss Craig Shakespeare he said Rovers had given his side the ‘best game they had all season’.

And from a side that has gone unbeaten for what seems like a century, that was praise indeed.

I think the time has come to write this season off as a learning curve.

Although a place in the play-offs is not yet a mathematical uncertainty, and we certainly shouldn’t rest on our laurels while that carrot is still dangling there, it is highly unlikely.

Barring an amazing run of form in our final 10 games of the season, we will still be in the Championship come next August.

But I honestly believe we are moving in the right direction.

Compare this to the feeling at this stage last season.

A lot has been said about stability and many people think too much emphasis has been on it, but to me it is key at the moment.

We have had almost (touch wood!) a season of pure stability.

No managerial changes and no major problems off the field.

Gary Bowyer is moulding a team that, to me, could be good enough to mount a real promotion push next term.

The gaffer himself is still learning and I am sure will have taken a lot from this season.

But assuming nobody comes in with a high enough bid to take Jordan Rhodes from us in the summer and in the hope the financial ‘fair play’ rules are re-jigged giving us freedom to bring in a couple of new faces, next season could be our season.

Yes I am being an optimist and many Rovers fans out there often see the glass as half empty but I don’t see the point in that at the moment.

We are far from any relegation battle and still in with an outside chance of the play-offs, so the year-on-year improvement is there for all to see.

Give it until Christmas and we will see what this transitional side is really capable of.