WE are not in the FA Cup any more and our season might as well be over — but at least Rovers fans have a reason to feel some pride in our beloved club once again.

Wins over Swansea and Stoke and a goal-less draw at Anfield all gave us reasons to smile. And despite finally conceding after 160 minutes against one of the Premier League’s top sides, the Rovers players were able to walk off the field with heads held high.


We were pretty well dominated for large portions of the game. But had it not been for one shot hitting a post, a good save from their keeper and an unlucky-not-to-go-in late attempt from our own keeper Simon Eastwood, we could have done a bit better.

Eastwood again showed that we now have three keepers at this club fighting for the number-one shirt. And despite having almost a full squad worth of injured players, we showed we have the strength in depth and character to fight on in the face of adversity.

Matt Kilgallon and Alex Baptiste were excellent at the back, and Adam Henley was outstanding at right-back up against Raheem Stirling who has made the life of Premier League defenders miserable all season.

The captaincy suits Killa — and his performances in recent weeks surely make him our first-choice centre-back even when all other options are available. A new contract would be just reward for all Killa’s patience while serving as deputy for long periods and his excellent performances since becoming a first-team regular.

Henley’s recent call-up to the Welsh national team shows how much the full-back has come on this season.

Stability this season brought a much-needed calmness about the place, and fans are feeling more of a connection with the club. With the team matching Premier League sides on four occasions, fans have got their pride back. We can look ahead to next season knowing we are going in the right direction.