NOT just unscathed but strengthened too – given the circumstances Rovers’ transfer window cannot be hailed as anything other than a huge success.

As soon as Rovers’ transfer embargo for failing Financial Fair Play was confirmed the vultures started to circle.


Ben Marshall to Aston Villa. Jordan Rhodes to QPR. Rudy Gestede to Crystal Palace.

How could a club that posted £42m losses not afford to cash in on its stars?

But come 11pm on Monday, and with the window now closed, there has been no big name departures; Gary Bowyer’s senior squad remains completely intact.

Credit where credit is due to Rovers’ owners Venky’s for that.

They could have cashed in on Gestede just like they could have cashed in on Rhodes in the summer.

But they made it clear to Palace that if they were going to prise the 13-goal striker away from Rovers they were going to have to stump up the £5m asking price.

Indeed the only player to depart on what was a blissfully quiet deadline day was highly rated young defender Jack O’Connell.

It was tough to see a player of O’Connell’s promise leave for a Championship rival – and particularly one above Rovers in the standings.

But it has to be stressed that the centre-back, having been unable to force his way into Bowyer’s plans, made it clear he wanted to challenge for a first-team place elsewhere.

It was a wish Rovers reluctantly granted.

But at least they can use the not inconsiderable fee they received for O’Connell to help pay off yet another expensive failures of its recent past – the £1.1m, £10,000-per-week Jordan Slew – and help fund the wages of loan signing Jay Spearing.

Seeing Ryan Tunnicliffe be recalled by Fulham, just when he was coming into his own, was a blow.

But you would never have guessed that judging by Saturday’s events.

Whereas Tunnicliffe froze on his return to Rovers, Spearing looked completely at ease in his new surroundings. As debuts go, it was near faultless.

On early indications, then, it seems Bowyer has pulled another rabbit out of the hat.

Indeed, bar from a bit of pace, Rovers’ squad looks well set for the run-in.

Just how exciting a run-in it is will depend largely on results in this, the most busiest of months.

Seven games in the space of three weeks, six of them in the league as well as an FA Cup clash with Stoke City, could well make-or-break Rovers’ chances.

But they start February buoyed by that badly needed but no less impressive win over Fulham – and by what happened on Monday night.

Or, to be more precise, what did not happen.