SHOULD we be surprised that Rovers crashed out of the League Cup to lower-division opposition?

Not really given the club’s wretched recent record in the competition.

Were Rovers alone in succumbing to a shock first-round exit?

Not at all with Championship rivals Wigan, Ipswich, Wolves and Saturday’s opponents Blackpool also falling to teams they should be beating.

But does that mean we should brush what happened on Tuesday night under the carpet and forget that it ever happened?

Absolutely not.

Primarily because that would be an insult to the 4,801 Rovers supporters who handed over their hard-earned to watch a second string side produce a distinctly second rate performance.

But, if you take the match in isolation, it also raises serious questions about the true strength Gary Bowyer has in depth.

It would be unfair to write off the players who started the desperately disappointing defeat to Scunthorpe as not good enough full stop.

But it would be fair to say that, put together into the same starting XI, they would not be good enough to challenge for the top spots in the Championship.

And, most damningly, on Tuesday they were not good enough to get the better of a team who, let’s not forget, were playing in League Two last season.

Bowyer, as the club’s manager, ultimately carries the can as it was his decision to make wholesale changes, a decision which backfired badly.

But the Rovers boss, who pulled no punches and offered no excuses afterwards, was right to have expected better from the men he named in his line-up.

Any side can have an off day but the lack of passion, lack of tempo and lack of ideas – well at least until Craig Conway, Rudy Gestede and Tom Cairney came on – on display was inexcusable.

Exiting the competition was bad enough but doing so with such a whimper left a bad taste in the mouth.

It has also put an unnecessary pressure on Saturday’s league encounter at Blackpool.

A very different Rovers team will be expected to offer an immediate response against a Tangerines team who have had the most turbulent of summers.

Victory at Bloomfield Road will go a way to erasing the memories of the loss to Scunthorpe.

But a defeat will only serve further to dent the optimism – optimism which Bowyer and his squad have worked so hard to build up over the past 15 months – that has made a welcome return to Ewood Park.