Whether it be ridding themselves of the defensive errors which blighted the second half of last season, or moving towards a more progressive style of play that manager Tony Mowbray craves, Rovers remain a work in progress in more ways than one heading in to the first international break.

The three consecutive clean sheets seemed a long time ago as West Brom took advantage of three Rovers errors in the space of 18 minutes to turn the game on its head.

In the same way Rovers enjoyed the plaudits for those three straight shut-outs, they must take the criticism that follows after some gift-wrapped goals at The Hawthorns.

The damning indictments of the opening 45 minutes, that started so well with an taking the lead after just 26 seconds, came with the fact that central striker Sam Gallagher touched the ball just 10 times and Adam Armstrong spent much of it operating as a second left back.

That’s certainly not the place you want him, as showed for the second Baggies goal in which he allowed Darnell Furlong twice to get beyond him, and after Matt Phillips’ chip to the back post came back off the bar, Jake Livermore fired in from 12 yards unopposed. It was down that flank that the Baggies were doing most of their damage, with the writing on the wall for Rovers from the earlier stages.

The first goal they conceded, with 22 minutes on the watch, was as surprising as it was avoidable. Greg Cunningham has barely put a foot wrong since joining on loan from Cardiff but was caught out by Phillips, losing his bearings when trying to shield the ball back to a goalkeeper who was glued to his line, as the winger nipped in to and fired beyond Christian Walton.

Five minutes before the break it felt like the fatal blow had been landed as the lively Grady Diangana pounced on the dithering of Darragh Lenihan to block his attempted clearance, stay on his feet as the Rovers defender tried to bring him down, and then lift the ball over the advancing Walton.

Those were mistakes we so often saw on the road last season as Rovers finished the campaign with the worst defensive record in the division.

But as well as the mistakes, their troubles were equally caused by a lack of care in possession, too eager to try and hit West Brom on the counter-attack rather than getting a foothold in the game by putting together a string of passes.

Mowbray feels Rovers need to add a level of control to their play if they are to improve on last season. They managed to achieve that after the break, but it took a change in personnel and approach, with Bradley Dack going in to a false No.9 role.

The tempo needed to be high to cause problems, with West Brom proving a stubborn opponent once back in their shape.

Though Rovers snapped in to their tackles more after the break and could count themselves not to force an equaliser in the second half. Stewart Downing saw a shot hit the post after a well-worked free kick involving Dack, who was frustrated by a refereeing decision which chalked off what he felt was a valid goal, turning home after the ball came back down off the crossbar as Kyle Bartley turned a Downing cross goalwards.

West Brom weren’t without their chances to kill the game off however, with a glaring Bartley miss as Rovers failed to clear their lines from a set play, while the impressive Matheus Pereira fired over after a sweeping counter-attack involving Diangana.

While Rovers’ defending was far from impressive, the hosts were equally suspect.

Dack put Rovers ahead after 26 seconds, curling home from the edge of the box after Lewis Travis picked the pocket of Romaine Sawyers who tried to turn on the edge of his own box from a loose Bartley pass.

Then, when the game looked to be getting out of reach, Johnstone fumbled an unmarked Lenihan header before a mass scramble ensued which Bradley Johnson eventually forced over the line. But they negotiated the closing stages well however, to hold on to the points.

This was a third defeat in an opening six fixtures which, on paper, looked difficult. The sequence after the international break offers more hope of an improved points return, despite the unpredictability of the Championship.

To take advantage, Rovers must work on their faults and settle on what team they want to be, and the personnel that best allows it.