Rovers reporter Rich Sharpe picks out six talking points from the 2-2 home draw with Birmingham City.


It is now just one clean sheet for Rovers in their last 10 matches who have conceded 12 times in their last five.

Another concern is that this was the 11th time this season that they have conceded at least twice in a match, and fourth time in their last five matches.

For the most part, they defended well, with Lenihan and Mulgrew equal to most that was put their way.

But they were stretched in the full back areas, as Connor Mahoney went close with a first half shot after beating Amari’i Bell, while Ryan Nyambe was caught out by a pass on his inside for the Birmingham leveller.

Mowbray has continued to change his back four, with two more changes on Saturday, but fine details need sharpening up on if they are able to make it possible for one, or even two, goals to be enough to win.


With 22 games gone, Rovers have led in 14 of them, but recorded seven victories.

For the second week running they were made to reflect on a case of two points dropped.

While against Middlesbrough they were denied by a thunderbolt from Britt Assombalonga here it was a David Raya mistake which handed Birmingham the initiative.

The league table is rarely misleading, particularly so deep in to the season, but it’s not inconceivable to see that Rovers could certainly be a couple of places, and points, better off.

By Saturday, they will have played every team in the league, and on their first season back in the Championship have proven to be more than competitive.


Danny Graham now has nine for the season and 18 for the calendar year.

His latest scoring run include five goals in his last five outings.

Ewood Park has always proven to be a happy hunting ground for the striker who has 15 goals in his last 24 home matches.

The 33-year-old now has four goals in three December matches, a month in which he has been among the goals during his Rovers career, scoring five in both 2017 and 2016.

It remains a work in progress for Rovers when Graham is either rested, or substituted, and a striker in January is becoming something of a must.

But they will do well to displace Graham from the starting line-up as he continues his excellent form.  


Craig Conway had worked his way back in to the side, starting three consecutive league games for the first time April.

But  lasted just 18 minutes as he was forced off with a thigh problem and is now expected to miss the festive period.

An injury to Elliott Bennett helped present him with the chance to return to the side, and the roles could be reversed if Bennett can prove his fitness in time to face his former side Reading.

A boost for Rovers though was Adam Armstrong, Conway’s replacement, scoring for just the second time in the league this season with a neat left-foot finish.

Mowbray called for more goals from whoever plays out wide, and Armstrong made a promising case for a recall.


From the moment the players made their way out on to the pitch it was clear that it might not be a game for free-flowing football.

The temperatures were almost at freezing, the wind was swirling and the rain lashing down.

Rovers were patient in their build-up in the first half, knowing that any long balls were always going to get caught in the wind.

They looked to have managed the conditions well, taking no chances in the second half as they took their 2-0 lead in to the closing stages.

But David Raya had a momentary lapse, choosing to try and claim a high ball that always swirling away from him.

Not that the conditions can be blamed for Rovers’ inability to hang on.


Connor Mahoney made his first return to Rovers since his departure last summer.

The winger is in his second loan spell away from Premier League side Bournemouth who he joined from Rovers in 2017.

There were boos from the stands greeting every one of his touches, before he was substituted 10 minutes in the second half.

Whatever the reasons behind his departure, it was disappointing to see a youngster whose talent promises so much, and a local lad at that, given such a reception.

Those who did boo clearly felt the 21-year-old owed Rovers more loyalty, but from the opposite point of view, did Rovers really do enough to make him feel wanted?

And the Rovers Mahoney left is a very different club to the one he returned to.

It is a matter of speculation where his career would be had he stayed, but with fees and sell-on clauses involved, the best thing for Rovers would be for it to be a successful one.