I HAVE to admit to being very disheartened by last week’s defeat at home to Derby.

Let’s face it, we were pretty much annihilated by a far superior side that, according to Steve McClaren, put in its best performance of the season.


But one thing you can say about Rovers these days is they have character.

We were poor on Wednesday, especially in defence, but we still fought back and came very close to nicking a completely undes-erved point.

The previous week we came from behind to comfortably beat Wigan where in previous years we could easily have capitulated.

And then on Saturday we went to Fulham to face a side buoyed by the sacking of Felix Magath, who may have been as disliked by their fans as Steve Kean was by ours, and came away with a very creditable 1-0 win.

The nay sayers will claim we were up against poor opposition with just one point from its previous seven games, and they would be right to a degree.

But there is nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal and, with the unpopular manager out of the equation, many expected the Cottagers to bounce back against a Rovers side that could be suffering mentally after throwing away a nine-game unbeaten home record three days previously.

Fulham did up their game and the match was not an easy one, but Rovers remained solid and won, and kept that hugely important clean sheet.

There were welcome debuts for Jason Steele and Shane Duffy, both of whom were excellent and will most likely stay in the first 11.

The win also ensures we keep pace with the promotion chasing pack going into three huge games that we need to take at least seven points from.

I know it’s early doors but it is key that we stay up there and top of the table Forest are just five points away as things stand.

After eight games of last season we were 11 points behind QPR, and eight behind Burnley in second, so the progress is there for all to see.

The big issue for much of last season was consistency and we could really do with breaking the win, lose, win, lose, win, lose, win streak this weekend.

There’s no reason why, ahead of the international break next month, we should be looking back on a four-game unbeaten run and looking ahead to a realistic push for the play-offs.

Or am I being overly optimistic?

In other news, my cousin who went to the Fulham game tells me he paid £5.80 for a pint of lager at Craven Cottage – that’s £2.20 more than a pint on the Ewood concourse.

Putting to one side the fact our Lee clearly has more dough than he knows what to do with, those prices are unbelievable and show the real cost of following the Rovers, or any other side in England, home and away.