Tony Mowbray believes a change in approach was needed to try and significantly improve on last season’s 15th placed finish.

With the same players, and style of play, Mowbray felt Rovers would have simply stood still which brought about the changes in the summer.

Goalkeeper David Raya and club captain Charlie Mulgrew have both been allowed to leave, while Richie Smallwood, an ever-present in the promotion winning campaign of 2017/18, is yet to feature in a matchday squad.

Mowbray says his decisions are ‘for the better of the team and the football club’ as he looks to push towards the top six, something he felt was only achievable with a change in playing style.

“I’m making decisions for the better of the team and the football club, in my opinion,” Mowbray said.

“We have to win games, I understand that, but I have to do what I believe is right for the team, not overly concern myself about individuals within the team and that’s the toughness of this job.

“For over two years there’s been a pretty tight bond with the same group of players but as players get older, teams develop, and football develops in such a short period of time, if you stand still you’re probably going backwards.

“The players know my job is as the football club manager, I’m a human being of course and develop relationships along the way of course, but my job is to propel this club back towards the Premier League.

“There will be casualties along the way. If people don’t get in the team then in my opinion it’s because we’ve signed better players, or players that are better suited to the way we want to play.

“I think most people understand that.

“I’m just trying to progress the team and yet at this moment, two games gone, there doesn’t look like much progress.

“We will get judged over the course of the season but I’m confident we’ll win games consistently and find a way to play that suits this group of players and hopefully they enjoy the journey, as do the fans.”

Mowbray met with each of his players at the end of last season and outlined his aims which has since seen Raya and Mulgrew depart and six players arrive.

“If we’re talking about Charlie for example, there was no fall-out, it was very amicable, we shook hands and he understood this was a football decision not a human decision,” Mowbray explained.

“I don’t have anything against Charlie Mulgrew, he’s an amazing man and has a lot of human characteristics that I see in myself.

“That may sound strange but he’s a loyal, humble guy who works hard at his job is what Charlie does every day and since pre-season, every day he’s done extra work after training.”

Danny Graham, player of the year last season, is yet to start a league game, but the 34-year-old had a big impact in the Carabao Cup win over Oldham.

Mowbray brought in Sam Gallagher for £5m to take away some of the reliance on Graham and says the new faces through the door this summer were to offer something different to the squad.

He added: “I sat down with them, all the players who have been on this journey with us knew my thoughts when we did a de-brief on the season and what the plan was, because that had already started.

“We were going to move things in a slightly different direction and I believe that if we kept the same players and played the same way then we’d probably end up with similar results and finish in a similar position.

“Is that the right thing to do or is it right to change some players and try and get players who are better at certain things than other players?

“I’m not sure anyone we’ve signed is as tenacious as Richie Smallwood in a 50-50 combative game in the middle of midfield when there’s lots of bodies around.

“But if you take a different direction there will be players with better technical ability to play forward passes or manipulate the ball out of tight areas.

“It’s how you want to do it. Richie knows that, so they’re not difficult conversations.

“They go in to it with their eyes wide open, as I do. I’m the guy who gave these players the contracts so I tell them and they either want to stay and be a part of it or you to where the manager is telling you that you’ll be the main man and play every week.

“That’s okay, as long as they know, I’ve got a very clear conscience when trying to pick players to win games.”