Corry Evans made his first home start of the season, partnering Lewis Travis in the centre of midfield.

It has been a sliding doors policy for Rovers in the middle of the park since Bradley Johnson went out of the team, with the summer signing having been alongside Travis for the opening five games.

Evans, whose previous three starts had all been on the road, snapped in to tackles, kept the ball moving, and was at his efficient best. He was Rovers’ most consistent performer in the early weeks of last season, but he’s never been fully able to establish himself in the side since.

Could his partnership with Travis solve the search for a midfield two? Well the statistics from 2019 are impressive.

This was the 11th occasion in which they have played together as a partnership (they were part of a midfield three at Reading in February).

From that, Rovers have collected 25 points out of a possible 33 (eight wins and a draw) and kept four clean sheets.

Their previous outing this season was the 2-1 win at Reading, since which Rovers have lost each of their next five away trips.

Evans will be eager for a run in the side, and especially keen to keep his place on Saturday where he will come up against his national team boss Michael O’Neill.

Mowbray questions whether the Northern Ireland international can keep up the level of intensity he showed against Brentford over a prolonged period. But he felt an ‘angry’ Evans is the best kind, as he put in an all-action display in the middle of the park.

Could Rovers have found a partner for Travis? It’s unlikely that Mowbray will stick with one preferred combination, and there will be times where Lewis Holtby or Stewart Downing, and their more creative threat, will be required, with Evans' passing accuracy down at 69 per cent against Brentford.

But for snapping in to tackles and getting about the pitch, that looks Rovers’ best combination.

Against Brentford Rovers were able to disrupt the visitors' rhythm, the Bees having gone in to the game with three consecutive away wins in which they had racked up nine goals.

They made three tackles and blocked one shot each, with Evans adding three interceptions, and the way he is able to read the game is one of his main strengths. 

It was the type of display that the Rovers fans really get behind. They were never far from the action, not taking a backward step, and key to making it a hat-trick of November home wins. 

Evans and Travis together:

Rovers 1-0 Brentford - November 27

Reading 1-2 Rovers - September 21

Rovers 2-2 Swansea – May 5

QPR 1-2 Rovers – April 19

Nottingham Forest 1-2 Rovers – April 13

Sheffield Wednesday 4-2 Rovers – March 16

Brentford 5-2 Rovers – February 2

Rovers 3-0 Hull – January 26

Rovers 2-0 Ipswich – January 19

Millwall 0-2 Rovers – January 12

Rovers 2-1 West Brom – January 1