Tony Mowbray maintains there are reasons to be optimistic but accepts Rovers ‘haven’t won enough’ in a results business.

Defeat at Leeds United on Saturday was their eighth in 16 games this season, leaving them 18th in the table heading in to the third international break.

That is some way shy of Mowbray’s aims of a top six push this term, with Rovers also seven points down on where they were at the same stage last season.

Despite that, Mowbray feels performances have warranted more than the points tally Rovers have got, having lost leads in recent draws with Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town at Ewood Park, as well as losing a two goal half time advantage against Preston.

Mowbray says a top six push ‘is another question’, but is encouraged by the effort levels his players are putting in.

“I judge the team and performances, I know football is about results,” the Rovers boss explained.

“We could have capitulated at 2-0 but they are all fighting, they’re all working hard, giving it their best shot.

“I have spoken about trying to build a team, a club. It takes time.

“They have a lot of heart this group of players, whether we have the quality to be at the top end of the table is another question.

“But I’m happy to go to war every game with them, they’re a great set of lads, made of the right stuff.

“It’s difficult to go and find another Bradley Dack in every window, you have to search and search for them and let people settle in.

“How have the last few weeks been? Football is about winning games and we haven’t won enough.

“The frustration is there for us all.

“But there is enough evidence that we’re going to be fine in this league.”

Rovers scored from their only shot on target at Elland Road, though Leeds could only muster four of their own, scoring twice, in a game that devoid of clear-cut opportunities.

Mowbray criticised referee Gavin Ward for the penalty that handed Leeds the opportunity to make it 1-0, but was frustrated that Rovers couldn’t force the issue more in the final 20 minutes as they went in search of an equaliser.

Though pressed on the statistics from the game, Mowbray says it was the all important one that they fell short.

He added: “I look at stats of teams that have had two shots on target and won 2-0.

“It doesn’t matter about possession. You have to score.

“Leeds found it difficult to score and I think they were given a leg up by a really soft penalty.

“It is difficult to go to Leeds and create chances, I don’t think anyone has, they have a really good defensive record.

“I did think we would get something but we didn’t have the quality ultimately to see that happen.”

Rovers now have a two-week international break before returning to action against Barnsley, on November 23. Mowbray will also watch the Under-23s in their Premier League International Cup game with Hertha Berlin at Ewood Park on Friday (7pm).