Tony Mowbray said Rovers’ change in system didn’t work as well as it had in training – but was happy to record a third win, and fourth clean sheet, of the season against Millwall.

Rovers went with a back three, as Tosin Adarabioyo made his home debut after injury, and they led at the break courtesy of a fine Derrick Williams strike.

Mowbray sent on Sam Gallagher at the break to add more attacking intent to the side and saw Rovers dominate the second half where Bradley Dack doubled the advantage.

Were it not for some fine saves from Lions keeper Bartosz Bialkowski then Rovers may well have won by more than a two goal margin.

“I didn’t really enjoy it today. We have done a lot with this three at the back and been really fluent in training we looked spectacular some days,” Mowbray said.

“When you go out and do it live against an opposition who are set up to make life difficult for you and are a hardworking team then it was difficult at times.

“But we got the points which is what football is about and we move on to the next one and keep working with the team, trying to improve and keep going.

“It’s only Millwall’s second defeat all season, and I felt that while they made it difficult for us at times, we could have scored four or five goals.

“We had a couple one-one-one’s with their keeper.”

Rovers had chance to work on the three-man defence during the two week international break, but doing it in training is very different to the competitiveness of a Championship game, according to the boss.

Mowbray says it is not something he will go with every week, having do so for many of his 15 games in Rovers’ 2016/17 Championship season, feeling Rovers have the options of being versatile.

He added: “The best place to learn is on the pitch I would suggest.

“In training we’ve looked pretty spectacular. In training you can play against your Under-23s or players who aren’t in the starting XI. But when you play against an opposition who are together, at it, got their own side, it throws up a few different problems.

“But we didn’t concede a goal, we got through it and got the points.

“We’re not going to play three at the back every week, as I’ve talked about before we’re going to be a versatile team who plays different systems.

“Sometimes we might play Rothwell, Armstrong and Gallagher as a front three and give Dack a rest and use really pace to break away.

“Other times we might want to dominate the ball and push teams back and Danny Graham will be there to play around the opposition box.

“We’re trying to utilise this squad and make the club bigger and better and believe we should rightfully be competing at the top end of the table.”

Gallagher replaced John Buckley, making his first league start, at the break.

Adarabioyo was replaced midway through the second half as Rovers moved to their regular 4-2-3-1 formation.

“You can change games. When you need something different, as we did second half when we started playing 3-4-3,” the boss said.

“We tried to take the threat of their full backs out seeing lots of the ball out of it and there are lots of ways of playing three at the back.

“When I arrived we played three at the back most games and it was more a 5-4-1, trying to be solid and playing on the counter attack.

“We played Sam Gallagher as a wide striker hitting long diagonals to him and we had a lot of joy doing it.

“There are lots of ways of doing it.

“Lenihan and Williams have had  four clean sheets and deserved to be keep going and they have a fantastic rapport with each other and an excellent understanding.

“But Tosin was fit so I wanted to have a look at it today because in training he’s an amazing passer of the ball and is real Premier League quality.

“I think he has to get used to the tempo of our team, the intensity we play at.

“We’re not like City and can stroll about and play passes all day, we have to play with an intensity, high up the pitch and bit by bit he’ll get there I’m sure and he’ll be a good acquisition for us I’m sure.”