Rovers fans, players and management alike will have two weeks to stew on the 4-2 humbling at QPR before the return to action at home to Huddersfield Town.

Every segment of the 90 minutes will be picked apart, but so too will Rovers take stock of where they find themselves almost a quarter of the way through the season.

The stats: Rovers impressed with four clean sheets in their opening eight games (but only one away from home), but have now conceded at least twice on five occasions. They have scored in nine of their 11 matches, but only more than once four times (two of which have come in away-day defeats).

A seminal moment last season came on a trip to west London, soft goals conceded, injuries mounted, and Rovers would go on to win one game in 11.

Eight months on, Rovers were again heavily beaten in west London, and face an agonising wait on the damage caused to Darragh Lenihan and Greg Cunningham, with the latter’s injury thought to be the more concerning for now. Goalkeeper Christian Walton also hobbled to the final whistle, with all three set to undergo scans in the coming days.

Rovers must hope this isn’t another Brentford away type hangover.

The 48 goals conceded away from home last season was particularly alarming, and one area they simply had to improve. Defensive reinforcements arrived in the form of Walton, Cunningham and Tosin Adarabioyo, but with all three on loan, their impact has to be immediate, Rovers have not taken a long-term view when it came to strengthening at the back.

With Adarabioyo having started just twice so far because of injury, fears over the length of Cunningham’s absence, and Walton yet to fully convince some that he is an unquestioned upgrade on David Raya, the main improvements at the back has come due to the form of players at the club last season.  

A key phrase for Tony Mowbray throughout his time in charge has been balance. He struck upon a winning formula in the League One promotion campaign at about this stage, after some early-season tinkering, and will be hoping to do this same around.

At Ewood, can they find a way to create more chances when coming up against a team operating in a deep block? Can they turn weight of possession in to chances, and goals? When Danny Graham isn’t in the team, who is the go-to central striker?

Away from home, can they withstand heavy pressure or overcome setbacks? Can they play the pressing game with Graham leading the line? Can they look to play on the front foot yet not be picked off on the break?

With team selection, can Joe Rothwell become more than simply an impact substitute? Can they find a way to get Bradley Dack and Lewis Holtby in the same team? Will Adarabioyo displace one of Lenihan or Derrick Williams, or will it be a back three?

Importantly, can they find a way of improving on a ratio of six draws and 20 defeats when conceding the opening goal since April 2018?

Mowbray will rotate, history tells us that. He will pick teams depending on the opposition, but these are all questions that will need to be answered and addressed.

Rovers are trying to dominate the ball, become a more possession-based side, but much of their success under Mowbray has been playing high intensity football. While a new style takes time to bed in, how long can they remain a work in progress?

The manager has stated his intention to make a sustained top six challenge, rather than just the fleeting adventure of last season after a run of four successive January wins.

Back-to-back wins over Middlesbrough and Hull helped erase memories of the opening two defeats, while victories against Millwall and Reading offered promise that things were coming together.

But any momentum was sucked away by the home defeat to Luton, and while unfortunate not to take more than one point from the home game with Nottingham Forest, finishing the block of five fixtures with a second defeat (and seven points), has again halted Rovers in their tracks.

“You can see we are a decent team” said Mowbray after QPR. The squad he has assembled has more than enough quality to put together a side capable of challenging at the top end of this league.

Rovers have invested in the squad, created competition in most areas, and a good blend of exciting young talent and Championship knowhow. 

Nine teams are within one win of top spot, the lead continues to change hands.

While Rovers’ top six aspirations will be judged over a longer period than just 11 games, the promising glimpses have come within, rather than over a period of, matches.

Consistency of results is hard to achieve in a predictably unpredictable league. Fans will cling to the fact this squad has the potential to mix it with the best in the league. They just need to see it more often.

Though getting caught up in talk of a top six push isn't for now. That will come should Rovers find a way of becoming more consistent. They are a streaky team, you could as easily see them going six unbeaten, or indeed as many without a win. 

Many will just want to feel Rovers are moving in the right direction, rather than taking one step forward and one back.