Rovers reporter Rich Sharpe picks out four talking points from the win at Stoke City. 


This isn’t Rovers’ best run since promotion, that remains those four successive victories in April and then January. Three wins in a row in such a competitive division isn’t to be sniffed at during any stage of the season, but to do so when they were being questioned, makes it more timely.

It is also the first time since relegation from the Premier League in 2012 they have managed three wins in the space of seven days.

Last season they managed three in nine days between the win at Nottingham Forest on April 13 and Bolton on April 22, with a 2-1 success at QPR on April 19 sandwiched inbetween.

In 2001, they overcame Grimsby (1-4), Portsmouth (3-1) and Preston (1-0) in the space of eight days to secure promotion back to the Premier League. 

Rovers had twice had back-to-back wins this season, but a third had evaded them. Now, in the space of seven days, they have climbed from 17th to 11th.

That is the first time they have been in the top half of the division since the end of September. 

Bradley Dack also scored for the third game running for the second time this season, having never previously achieved that in his career.


Tony Mowbray would likely have earmarked Darragh Lenihan and Tosin Adarabioyo as his preferred central defensive pairing. The fact that after 19 matches in they have played as a central defensive two on just three occasions has been down to fitness of both, as well as the early season form of Derrick Williams.

They have helped Rovers to three wins in a row, but in the last two they have really shown signs of a promising partnership. Lenihan has assumed more of a leadership role without Charlie Mulgrew alongside him, and Adarabioyo will certainly welcome playing with some of his stature.

With Lenihan and Adarabioyo they have two players comfortable on the ball, willing to compete in the air, but what is a marked difference from last season, is a pairing able to cover the ground well. With them in the team, Rovers don’t need to defend as deep, allowing them to press higher up the pitch, and not invite pressure as much.

Adarabioyo in particular, his composure on the ball helps gain some level of control playing out from the back.


Rovers went seven months without a sub finding the net and only five players came off the bench to score last season.

In the month of November, John Buckley scored the winner against Sheffield Wednesday, Sam Gallagher came up with one at Stoke City, and Stewart Downing restored the lead against Barnsley.

Three in five games, helping Rovers to nine points and back in to the top half.

Three of the four November wins have come via late goals, with Buckley netting in the 92nd minute, Bradley Dack scoring four minutes from time against Barnsley and Gallagher with six remaining at Stoke. For all the points thrown away late in games last season, Rovers have developed a knack for turning the tables this season.


Stoke were there for the taking for much of the afternoon – but it needed Rovers’ best move of the match to see them to victory.

While the winning goal against Brentford in midweek will have been watched on loop countless times, Gallagher’s goal was equally as impressive.

Ryan Nyambe could have chosen the easy option with his pass, returning it to where it came, but had the presence of mind to open up his body and slide it through to take, in turn taking three Stoke players out of the game.

That got Dack the half yard he needed to play in Bennett, and Rovers were away. All that stood between them was for Bennett to pick out the pass, and Gallagher to apply the finish, and both held up their half of the bargain, and the three points were theirs.