Tony Mowbray feels Rovers’ form on the road will have a big say in how they fare this season.

Rovers travel to Stoke City this afternoon on the back of consecutive home wins that has moved them up to 13th in the Championship.

However, they have lost each of their last four away matches, and having conceded 48 times on the road last season, have shipped 16 in eight games so far.

Mowbray feels the return to fitness of central defender Darragh Lenihan, who captained the side in the win over Brentford, will help improve on those defensive statistics, with just no clean sheet since the win at Hull in August.

Rovers have scored twice, and lost, three times on the road already, but Mowbray doesn’t feel a defensive approach is the way to eradicate their defensive worries.

“The team look forward to away games, they believe we can go and score and win football matches,” said Mowbray, whose side last win on the road at Reading on September 21.

“We have lost too many goals away from home, but I’m not sure that going and staying behind the ball and packing up defensively is the way for us.

“It’s not the way I try and coach this team, but it’s all a balance.

“Generally we go and threaten the opposition goal, and score.

“Each game needs breaking down of why we conceded goals, what were the issues? We’ve had some indifferent personal performances in away games that have proved pretty costly.

“We’ve talked about injuries to some key players not available for a while and I think that affects us more away from home.

“You have to defend more away from home than you do at home, you have to be more resilient, you have to get the ball out of your box more because they put it in your box more.

“I think ultimately our season will be defined by how many victories we can get away from home because I am confident that at home we’ll keep a consistency and win games, teams will find it difficult to beat us at home.

“Away from home will ultimately decide how good a season we have. We’re striving to find the answers and I think the players are looking forward to the next challenge that’s away from home.”

Rovers won six times on the road last season, including at the bet365 Stadium. They led 3-0 before almost letting the lead slip in the final 10 minutes as the Potters brought it back to 3-2 before Saido Berahino crashed a late penalty against the bar.

Stoke sit second bottom, but have taken six points from the three games in which new boss Michael O’Neill has taken charge of.

And Mowbray added: “We go in to the game with a few memories from last year, we have nothing to fear.

“The biggest recollection is Dack hitting the post, that would have put us 4-0 up, it came out and within 10 minutes they missed a penalty to go 3-3. It was an amazing game.

“While they have a new coach now, they’ve won a couple of games, with some pretty good footballers they’re still striving to get away from the bottom of the table.

“I have no doubts that they will. Michael O’Neill is a very good man, and a very good manager. He’s very pragmatic about the way he will prepare his team and get them going.

“He came to our game in midweek, he will have seen our strengths and weaknesses.

“We’ll go in to the game in a positive frame of mind on the back of a couple of victories and keep the run going.”