Rovers reporter Rich Sharpe picks out five talking points from the opening day defeat.


Rovers have now conceded 31 goals in their 21 Championship matches in 2019. In eight of their last 17, they have conceded at least twice.

While Tony Mowbray was right to point out there was a lack of care in the final third, apportioning the same responsibility on the forward line as the defence for the defeat, going in to game knowing two goals might not be enough to win would make any attack feel the pressure.

Against a Charlton team who played with just Lyle Taylor in attack, it was surprising to see how often Rovers were caught out on the break. The first goal saw them unable to recover when giving the ball away in the final third, while for the second, the lead up to the corner, and what happened when the ball came in to the box, was unconvincing.

It is asking a lot of loan signings Tosin Adarabioyo, and goalkeeper Christian Walton, to turn around the fortunes of a defence which shipped 69 goals last season.

But if more defenders don't arrive before Thursday's window, it will likely be a new approach, and set-up, needed to cure the longstanding problems.



Leaving out last season's player of the year and 15-goal man Danny Graham was always going to be a brave move, while Joe Rothwell has plenty of support from the fanbase so not including him will always raise questions.

But it was the substitutions that didn't work for Rovers. The most joy they had all afternoon was down the flanks early in the second half, but switching Sam Gallagher from centre forward to right wing, saw that threat drift away.

Stewart Downing had delivered good quality in to the box from the left, and possibly moving him to left back, with Rothwell ahead of him, could well have worked better, rather than a straight swap.

As Charlton began to wind down the clock, Rovers added to their own frustrations by simply punting balls in the direction of Graham, countless diagonals going straight out of play.

They looked lost for ideas late on, and in truth, while unfortunate to put through his own net, Charlton 'keeper Dillon Phillips had a relatively comfortable afternoon.



It’s hard to look past the damning statistics of Rovers’ opening day woes, this their fourth defeat in five seasons and no win now since 2010. Coming in to the game, based upon the last decade, Rovers ranked 88 for their record on the opening day.

Obviously, points on the opening day count for the same as any of the other 45 matches, but there is nothing like the feeling of a good start. Rovers reeled off a five-match unbeaten run last campaign, though that always appeared unlikely this time around given a tough fixture list. Defeat on the opening day only heightens that.



Bradley Johnson was believed by many to be the club’s best bit of transfer business this summer, and the early signs have been promising.

Rovers now have a man in the middle of the park with some physicality, as well as an ability to keep the ball moving.

In the first half he made the right decision more often than not, choosing when to play short and when to go in behind, and worked well alongside Lewis Travis.

And good luck trying to tell him he can’t claim his first Rovers goal.

Wasn’t the only player to tire as the opening day adrenaline wore off, but arguably the one bright spot in a bitterly disappointing day.