Tomorrow marks three years since Tony Mowbray became Rovers boss, with just two players set to start at Brentford who did in his first game at Burton Albion.

In that time Mowbray feels he has developed a core of players who can take the club forward, but admits his squad will need to keep improving to keep up with the continued growth he is looking forward.

Rovers start the weekend eighth in the Championship, three points outside the play-offs, and reached 50 points in eight fewer games than last season.

They face a tough assignment of their play-off credentials against fourth-placed Brentford, where they lost 5-2 last season, the start of a run of one win in 11 which ended any such hopes last term.

“I think the core is there of a decent football team. We still have to grow and add to it, and as the analogy I use is of a train, don’t fall off the back as we steam forward,” Mowbray said.

“If you don’t want to grow and get better with us then you’ll drop off the end and go and play somewhere else. That’s fine because we have to keep adding as the train gets faster and we keep moving forward.

“That’s how we’re trying to do. It’s hard to do it from being trundling along to being a high speed train and try and get there bit by bit.

“Sometimes you hit a bump in the road, but you have to keep believing in what you’re doing and keep believing.”

Mowbray is second only to Lee Johnson in the list of longest serving Championship managers, and he admits a turnover of players during that time is understandable, with Danny Graham, Elliott Bennett and Charlie Mulgrew, three players inherited by the manager, whose game-time has become more limited of late.

“Three years is a long time in football. There was always going to be a turnover,” he explained.

“I inherited some players of a certain age with lots of experience and there are positives to that, but time runs down on every footballer.

“There’s been a natural progression of the squad. I would like to think we’ve got some assets in there, we’ve signed some young players that have a value and some growth and can help the team. The likes of Nyambe, a young player who is developing and growing and becoming more confident.

“It’s not easy to make a jump from a team on the cusp of relegation to one that thinks and expects to try and get in the top six and get out of this division. There’s no magic wand.

“The personnel has changed a lot, the ideology on the pitch of how we play and what we do, the expectations, you have to grow that, they have to feel that every day and create habits. You can’t tell them once and expect that to happen, you have to tell them over a period of time.”