Rovers are no strangers to heading in to an international break on a defeat. They have done so on all three occasions this season, and five of the seven times since promotion back to the Championship.

It could well prove to be an uncomfortable two weeks, and only intensify the pressure heading in to what may well be as a ‘must-win’ against bottom of the table Barnsley on their return to action.

Sixteen games in, and even despite Tony Mowbray’s optimism, you would be hard pushed to find anyone who expects, or believes, Rovers can challenge for the top six.

They remain a competitive Championship outfit, one with undenied potential that has failed to materialise on a a consistent enough basis, hence why they find themselves 18th in the table. 

The quandary of staying defensively compact, but still able to provide a serious goal threat, remains a balance that Rovers haven’t struck, particularly away from home where they have now lost four in a row, and six of their eight this season.

At Elland Road Rovers battled hard, got through plenty of work off the ball, but much of it to contain the hosts. When they did win the ball back, they failed to get the first pass right on too many occasions.

But heading in to the final 20 minutes, with the deficit only one goal, and even in a game of very few clear-cut chances, a nervousness began to grow among the 35,000 or so home fans.

Though Rovers failed to capitalise on that. It felt as though their best hope of finding a goal was from a set play, having unearthed a weakness in the Leeds ranks last season with two headed goals from corners in the win at Ewood Park last October.

They did so again to haul themselves back in to the game here, with Derrick Williams powering in his third goal of the season just before the break.

That saw Williams become the second-highest scorer in the Championship for Rovers, and with the opener at Preston having gone down as an own goal, he is one of three players, along with Adam Armstrong and Bradley Dack, to have scored more than once in the league.

With Danny Graham’s starts now limited, and Charlie Mulgrew since departed, Rovers are yet to show they can replace their number of goals from the last two seasons, even with the number of attacking options available.

Injuries to Darragh Lenihan and Greg Cunningham have been a blow, and have been felt by Rovers in the block of five games since the October break, picking up four points from the 15 available.

Despite their absence, on the whole they defended well, Lewis Holtby in a deeper, central midfield role, pointed the way to keep Rovers organised behind the ball, and they safely negotiated the opening half an hour with just two long range Stuart Dallas shots sailing wide, or over the bar, to contend with.

But after conceding two goals in five minutes, it looked a long way back. The first came from the penalty spot, and while Mowbray was right to question the level of officiating in the division this season, it would have been a more surprising call for referee Gavin Ward not to give the spot-kick than do so.

Tosin Adarabioyo missed his kick, on his follow through, did impede the advancing Luke Ayling, with Ward quick to award the penalty.  Patrick Bamford obliged from 12 yards, and had a big hand in the second goal which arrived five minutes later.

He sprung the offside trip to control a Kalvin Phillips ball over the top and tee up Jack Harrison to roll the ball in to the corner.

Rovers did fire back quickly, a well-worked corner allowed Williams to get free to power home a header at a time when the home fans were expecting their side to run riot.

A first half with few chances brought three goals, but a feisty second half brought even fewer sights of goal.

Jack Harrison thumped one shot over the bar, and another wide of the target, when well placed from two Leeds counter-attacks, while Christian Walton had to be alert to tip behind a Tyler Roberts shot.

The late rally you hoped would come for Rovers didn’t materialise. There was a lack of pace in the side to trouble Leeds on the break late on, and not enough quality for Graham and Bradley Dack to work off.

Rovers have better depth, and quality, than last season, but are now seven points worse off at the same stage and with work to do.