Rovers reporter Rich Sharpe picks out four talking points from the Middlesbrough win.


Injury to Tosin Adarabioyo coincided with the timely return to fitness of Darragh Lenihan.

He was brought in to partner Derrick Williams, Rovers’ fourth central defensive partnership in as many games this season.

A win, and clean sheet, means the Lenihan-Williams partnership has delivered some quite incredible results.

In 11 games they have partnered each other in the last two seasons, Rovers have won seven matches, drawn twice, and lost just twice, against promoted sides Norwich and Sheffield United.

Even more impressive is the five clean sheets they have delivered.

Eyebrows were raised in Rovers’ summer recruitment at the lack of central defensive additions, and one swallow doesn’t make for a summer.

Rovers still look susceptible to injuries in that area, and much work remains, but you can’t argue with the results.


Saturday marked 19 years since the death of Jack Walker, Rovers’ greatest supporter.

It was a battling performance that would have made him proud.

As the 19th minute ticked around, his name rang around Ewood Park, including from a section of the Middlesbrough supporters.

His face lit up the big screen, and it was a goosebumps moment.

It could only have been more fitting had Rovers managed to open the scoring as the applause went on, something Greg Cunningham went close to as his attempt from a Stewart Downing corner was cleared on the line.


There was something a little bit different post-match. So accustomed have we been to three points being marked with an Elliott Bennett first pump.

This, his first win since being installed as permanent captain, should have been the perfect moment to roll it out.

Indeed, few celebrations would have been more fitting after a 90 minutes in which the home supporters played just as big a role as the players in helping Rovers over the line.

However, there was just the applause to the Blackburn End from Bennett, rather than the usual first pump.

Bennett has come in for criticism of late, with references made to that celebration to him on social media, which will likely have been the reason behind the no-show.

However, he clearly has the faith and respect of his manager and team-mates, and there are few better examples of how a footballer should carry themselves than Bennett.

Yes he may not be the most natural option at right back, and yes he may have had some testing times, but if 100 per cent is what you’re after, then there could be no finer custodian of the role in Charlie Mulgrew’s absence.


Few summed up Rovers’ incredible work-rate more than Sam Gallagher.

Danny Graham’s inclusion came as nothing of a surprise, though there were eyebrows were raised when Gallagher retained his place, but in a wide right role.

It is a role he has done before, not least under Mowbray during his loan spell in 2016/17.

He was full of running from minute one to 95, offering a great outlet, winning an incredible 12 aerial duels and putting in some great recovery runs, winning more tackles than any Rovers player.

He looked much better when running in to open space than with the ball at his feet, but it was certainly a whole-hearted display.

Gallagher stayed out wide even after the departure of Armstrong, and in time, he will need to become the No.9 that Mowbray thinks he will be, and provide the necessary goal threat.

But for commitment and working for the cause, that is without question.