SOMETHING has changed. Paul Lambert could not, initially at least, put his finger on it. But something has definitely changed at Blackburn Rovers.

How else can you explain the fact they have won as many matches – three – in their new manager’s first four games in charge as they did in their previous 17?

A fourth win from five tonight, at home to Nottingham Forest, and Rovers will find themselves one point off the play-off places.

During Lambert’s first month in charge he has not – the return of Doneil Henry aside – been able to strengthen the squad.

And it is clear that the willing group of players he has inherited are still getting to grips with the high tempo style of football he wants to adopt.

But, when pushed to explain what he believes is the reason for Rovers’ reversal in fortunes under his command, Lambert pointed to a gradual shift in mindset.

“It’s hard a one as I don’t know what was going on before and, as I’ve said, Gary Bowyer deserves great credit for stabilising the club,” said the former Champions League winner after his side’s 1-0 home win over Rotherham United on Friday.

“The club had been hit from pillar to post and that’s difficult when you’re trying to survive in the league. But I’m not one just to survive in the league. I want to get out of it.  My own drive, and Alan Irvine’s drive, and Rob Kelly’s drive, and Laurence Batty’s drive – people have to match it to get us out of it.

“Whether the players have taken on board the intensity we want to play, and the effort and the commitment, but if you want to achieve something, you have to do it every week. Every single week you have to go to the well to achieve it. It’s hard but the rewards are fantastic.

“Mentality is so important for a footballer. If your legs are tired in some given games, you have to kick in and see it through. If you have to make a last-ditch tackle, and if you have to go for the last header, and you have to make the last run, you make sure you do it.

“The big thing for us was to try and change the mentality here. Physically I thought we'd be okay. Mentally, going into every single game, I think that’s slowly but surely going our way and the lads know what we expect.

“That’s why Friday was a fantastic win.”

It was a win which means Rovers are now just four points off sixth spot.

And Lambert said: “Three or four weeks ago we were miles behind and, as I’ve said before, the things we were hearing was that there was an acceptance of they might not do much, that they might not go anywhere.

“Then all of a sudden a new manager comes in, gets wins and they catapult you up there.

“But we’ve got so much work to do here. This is a big job and we certainly need fresh faces to come in January. The guys 100 per cent need a bit of help.

“But these players deserve so much credit for the points tally at the minute.”