Rovers went through pre-season unbeaten, though with the level of opposition, it would likely have been a bigger talking point had they not.

While fitness remained the priority, it was an opportunity to test out patterns of play honed on the Brockhall training pitches and during the week-long trip to Austria.

The pre-season games have offered Rovers the chance to spend plenty of time with the ball, though doing it against a Bury side put together of trialists and in the heat of the Championship will remain the biggest test.

Becoming less reliant on Danny Graham’s physicality at the top end of the pitch and playing a more progressive brand of football is one of Tony Mowbray’s desires for the new season, something we had a sneak peak of in the final six matches.

So how are they going about that?

The biggest, and most noticeable change, has been on the flanks. While remaining 4-2-3-1, as they have for much of Mowbray's tenure, there have been slight tweaks.

That includes, when attacking, the left back being the most advanced player on that side, operating more like a wing-back.

Lancashire Telegraph:

As a result, the player operating from the left-wing position plays much narrower and looks to get in between the opposition midfield and defence in much the same way Bradley Dack does.

Dack in turn has moved out more to the right, while to counter the advanced left back, one of the central midfield players drops in to cover that space, with the other, occupying the centre of the pitch, creating the appearance of a four-man central midfield.

Bradley Johnson has been the deepest lying of those, with Lewis Travis continuing with his all-action approach alongside him.

There have been far fewer booming balls forward from Darragh Lenihan, with a focus on playing more through midfield, a role Johnson has a key role in, offering an option for the central defensive two when in possession.

He has made a promising start with his composure, and calmness, on the ball.

With the left back offering width on that side, on the opposite flank, it comes from the right winger.

Armstrong and Gallagher have shared that role in recent friendlies, keeping their width almost exclusively, but high enough up the pitch to dart inside the full back to remain a goalscoring threat. Case in point were the goals Armstrong scored in wins at Mansfield and Bury.

With Graham up front, Rovers were at times last season short of options to stretch the opposition defence. But it seems now Rovers have a genuine threat in behind given how high the right winger is playing.

That means the right back is a little more defensive, and playing narrower. Very rarely this pre-season season have we seen either Joe Rankin-Costello or Elliott Bennett getting to the byline and deliver crosses.

Mowbray touched on it after the Mansfield win, but rarely have we seen the Rovers striker, whoever it may be, playing solely down the middle.

Instead, they appear to be playing further to the left, up against the right-sided central defender.

The challenge is now for a new-look system to deliver improved results.