Of things that are levelled against Tony Mowbray, the lack of consistency in team selection is high on many fans’ list.

He named an unchanged side on just five occasions last season, and is yet to do so this. It will be hard to think that will change at Preston on Saturday.

But consider this: how many players at the minute should be certain starters? How many deserve to be assured of a consistent run in the team?

Some will get it, purely because of the lack of options, with Tosin Adarabioyo and Derrick Williams the only two recognised senior central defenders fit, though the latter hasn’t looked as secure in recent weeks.

Christian Walton is an ever-present in goal, and while his distribution was a source of frustration on Tuesday night, appears to be undisputed No.1.

Captain Elliott Bennett is another ever-present, and just as he was hitting some form at right back, he was forced to switch across to the left. But with Amari’i Bell fit again, surely having a more natural player in that role, and someone who is left footed, has to be seen as a better option.

Bennett continuing to turn back on to his right foot to pick a pass slowed down many a move on Tuesday night. With Ryan Nyambe one of the few who showed some heart against Birmingham, and it will be an interesting call at the weekend in the full back areas.

Lewis Travis has missed two games so far and with qualities that Rovers’ other central midfield options don’t, seems a shoo-in when available.

The other is Bradley Dack. Often criticised when falling slightly below his levels, he was the one trying to drive the team forward, create things, not take the easy, or backward option. He even played ball boy towards the end, chasing in to the stands so to not let time run down.

Stewart Downing has been Rovers’ best performing summer signing, and may well be the man to provide a creative spark in the middle of the pitch that was sadly lacking.

Thereafter, we’ve seen flashes, but not enough from the others. Adam Armstrong continues to dip in and out, Sam Gallagher is yet to hit the heights expected of a £5m marquee signing, Joe Rothwell remains a better option off the bench, while Bradley Johnson’s form has taken a real dip (completing just 21 of his 36 passes at Birmingham).

There could be few complaints should wholesale changes happen on Saturday. But worries after the Birmingham defeat when deeper than tactics, than selection, than style of play.

Mowbray was visibly angered by the performance. In his 136-game tenure, his side have come under criticism at times, but very rarely for a lack of fight, drive, and application.

Rovers looked lost in the opening 45 minutes. That should have been the time to pounce on a Birmingham side who had lost four of their previous five matches and in front of a crowd who were edgy in the early stages.

Slow and ponderous on the ball, there didn’t look to be much by way of leadership, with the game too easily passing many by.

If you don’t show the required level of attitude and application in this league you will get found out pretty easily. Birmingham sensed their chance and with the best move of the match created an opening from which Maxime Colin scored the only goal of the game.

Anything other than a response on Saturday, against a Preston side who will undoubtedly look to start fast, will lead to more questions than simply who should be playing up front.

It is now six defeats in 13 matches and no win in five. Going further back, it’s 16 defeats in 30. In the calendar year Rovers’ record is P:34 W:13 D:5 L16.

This will be their first full year as a Championship side since 2016. On that occasion they won 12, drew 12 and lost 23 of their 47 matches which includes the desperately poor start to 2016/17 under Owen Coyle, one which left Rovers facing an uphill battle to stay in the league.

While things are nowhere near as bleak as that now, it’s a worrying record.

Mowbray went in to the League One season with a view of how Rovers could play. With promotion a must, he abandoned that 11 games and the rest is history.

But two years on from the Oldham debacle that brought a new perspective, there is no suggestion he’s ready to rip up what he has worked hard to try and implement.

However, he will recognise the need for something to change. We’ve seen flashes of what this side can offer, but they have been too few and far between to suggest that without some level of tinkering, things will sudden make an immediate about turn for the better.

But did Rovers buy the calibre of player needed to play the way the manager wants? Do they have a central midfielder in their ranks able to dictate a game from deep?

Is Gallagher a centre forward suited to building up the play with his back to goal?

They are discussion points in themselves but in a results business, Rovers must find some quickly.