Tony Mowbray wasn’t surprised to see his squad’s strength come to the fore as they made it six wins in eight games.

Goals from Bradley Johnson and Adam Armstrong helped Rovers make it six matches unbeaten as they left Bristol City 2-0 winners.

That moved Mowbray’s men to one point of the top six as they continued their upturn in form at Ashton Gate where Mowbray made six changes.

The manager mixed up his team for the third game in a week, with Johnson coming in for his first appearance since October while Ben Brereton made a first league start since April.

Captain Elliott Bennett, Amari’i Bell, Lewis Holtby and Sam Gallagher were the four other players to be recalled as Rovers put in an accomplished away performance to leave with the point.

“It’s not news to me. The hardest part of any manager’s job is connecting with your players and making them feel as though you care about their lives but then having to let them down and not pick them.

“That’s the hardest part. Sometimes you question yourself whether you’re too soft, or too harsh on some, like you’re harsh on your own kids.

“I have to pick a team for this football club, the supporters, to try and win games.

“I felt the turnaround time of Wednesday night to Saturday was too tight to go in with the same team that had won some football games.

“I spoke to the rest to make sure that you make sure they make it really difficult for me for the next game and they did that.

“They went to war when they needed to and played football when they needed to.

“A good day all round, pleased for the supporters who made the long trip, and the players as well.”

Johnson had Rovers ahead inside two minutes before playing a key role in the second scored by substitute Adam Armstrong 12 minutes from time.

Mowbray added: “I think we incorporated a lot of things in to that performance, spirit, togetherness, camaraderie, all the things I talked about every week. And no shortage of talent. We kept the ball the last 15 minutes.

“Having watched them in the last 15 minutes on Tuesday one goal behind it was like the Alamo and they scored have scored three or four.

“The team were composed, they had to see out that storm. I talked last year how their crowd gets wrapped up and involved in the match and it can also be like an extra player for them.

“We managed, on the back of an intense first half and a bit of disorder, we managed to quieten the crowd I thought.”