Rovers reporter Rich Sharpe picks out four talking points from the 1-1 draw with Preston North End.


Rovers opted to go with Sam Gallagher on the right wing, with Adam Armstrong up front and Lewis Holtby in behind.

The run of five wins in six apart, when Joe Rothwell and Armstrong were the men on the flanks, those positions have been rotated heavily.

In the lead-up to the game Mowbray said that an out-and-out winger could well be on his transfer wishlist this month, with Harry Chapman coming back in to contention given a lack of that type of player.

A week on from calling out Gallagher’s lack of clinical edge in front of goal, the £5m summer signing was used on the right wing, to try and use his power against Joe Rafferty.

But instead of being able to run in behind the Preston backline, much of Gallagher’s work came when faced up by the full back, and unsurprisingly, failed to make the most of his good positions.

Seeing Gallagher delivering crosses from the right seemed unnecessary, with both Rothwell and Chapman remaining unused on the bench.



Rovers were able to welcome back Ryan Nyambe, Corry Evans and Lewis Holtby to the starting line-up and Danny Graham to the bench, while Elliott Bennett shook off a sore Achilles to take up a place on the bench.

But only five minutes in, Evans suffered a suspected broken nose and cheekbone, while in the early stages of the second half Nyambe once again limped off with a sore hamstring.

The extent of both will be known in the coming days, but it’s yet more disruption for boss Tony Mowbray to contend with.

There were still enough options for Mowbray to not include Ben Brereton on the bench, and six more changes to the starting line-up.

What the double change did was force Mowbray’s hand when it came to substitutes with Bradley Johnson replacing Evans and Bennett on for Nyambe. That left Mowbray with the option of just one attacking change to make, opting for Graham, with Joe Rothwell and Harry Chapman remaining unused.

The consistency that Rovers enjoyed during their run of five wins and a draw in six matches, and crave now, is evading them.



From five wins and a draw in six, to now no win in six. It really is boom or bust when it comes to results for this Rovers side.

They remain in play-off contention, five points off with still 19 games to play, but they will need at least one consistent winning run to get them firmly back in the mix.

While they have now just lost once at Ewood, it’s six draws in 14 home games, and just 17 goals in those matches.

Next is a trip to a Sheffield Wednesday side who are coming off the back of an impressive win at league leaders Leeds United.



He was Rovers’ first summer signing, and right now, looks to have been their most impressive.

Stewart Downing is defying his age to continue churning out promising performances each week and is now looking to be the main creative force.

He started on the left, but finished it more central, and Rovers will want to get him involved as much as possible in the final third.

From deeper positions he uses the ball well, the game seems to slow down when it lands at his feet, and in a game where too many players looked too eager to get rid of the ball, Downing was happy to take responsibility and trying and do something a little different.

Many thought Downing would be a squad rotation option, but he’s yet to miss a game through injury and has started 22 of Rovers’ 27 Championship games so far, coming off the bench in two more.