Stewart Downing says the players agree with the assessment that Rovers have underachieved so far – but hopes a run of home matches can be a springboard to climb the table.

Rovers edged past bottom side Barnsley 3-2 courtesy of a late Bradley Dack winner which made it back-to-back Ewood wins.

Two of their next three games also come on home soil, starting with Wednesday’s visit of Brentford, with Downing seeing it as an opportunity to close in on the top half.

Fans showed their frustration at times during the Barnsley win, understandably so, according to Downing. But he feels getting over the line was crucial after the two-week international break and coming up against a Barnsley side who hadn’t won since the opening day.

“We are where we are,” Downing said of the league position.

“We've dropped a lot of points in winning positions, we've been a bit unlucky at times but you've got to accept that and until you start finishing games off and being clinical then we won't be a top team.

“The fans are obviously grumbling a bit which is understandable, they demand wins and they see that with the quality of the team we should be winning more games. 

“That's what we want, it's not just them getting frustrated it's us as well and if we'd have drawn that game it would've been a disaster really. 

“We were the far superior team but maybe a confidence thing, we let them get back into it, pass it around and we got deeper and deeper. But, the fans stuck with us and we got a really good win in the end.”

Downing felt Barnsley were a better side than their league position, and points tally, suggested. However, once Dack opened the scoring in the 24th minute, the 35-year-old hoped it would be a comfortable afternoon.

The midfielder started on the bench, but was called for on the hour mark with the score at 1-1, with his right foot strike putting Rovers back ahead 10 minutes after his introduction.

“It was nice to get the win playing at home,” he added.

“For large periods we dominated, they played some nice stuff Barnsley but it would've been frustrated if we'd drawn or lost the game. 

“We were the stronger team I thought and we got a decent start with the goal. 

“We just made it hard for ourselves, maybe that's a confidence thing but it was a big win for us.

“We're confident when we play at home that we can beat anyone and (Barnsley) was a good start for us because we wouldn't have wanted to go into Brentford on a loss or draw. 

“They're a good team who can play good football, we've built momentum though we've got confidence going into that (Brentford) game and I'm looking forward to it.”

Downing was pleased to see Rovers keep going to the end, Dack coming up with a late winner to secure the points having twice been pegged back.

It was a similarly dramatic finish to the one that brought the three points against Sheffield Wednesday on November 2, with two goals in the final four minutes proving decisive on that occasion.

“I think it shows we keep fighting, we could've easily crumbled at 2-2 and a lot of teams would get nervous at home and probably lose that game,” Downing added.

“We've been unlucky late on in games so it was a big plus that we kept going and we've got goal scorers in the team who can nick a goal late on.

“It was a good way to end the game, obviously not for the manager or fans, but for the players because we've gained confidence going into Wednesday.”