Tony Mowbray branded Ben Brereton's red card as 'unacceptable' – and was left frustrated by the host of missed chances in the 2-0 defeat at Barnsley.

Rovers lost by that scoreline for the second time in three days, after losing at Wigan last weekend, with both results coming as a blow to their play-off hopes.

Mowbray feels the picture is ‘difficult’ moving forward, with seven games left, and Rovers having fallen out of play-off contention for now ahead of the visit of league leaders Leeds United on Saturday.

Brereton was sent off just seven minutes after coming on, moments after Barnsley had taken the lead through Conor Chaplin, one they doubled shortly afterwards through JBrown.

And Mowbray said of the incident: “He’s kicked the boy, that’s really disappointing for the team of course.

“He’s probably reacted to me giving him some verbal abuse when he wasn’t strong enough in the initial challenge.

“It’s unacceptable to do that for the team, so disappointing.

“I don’t want to sit here and say that we lost the game because of that, we lost the game because we didn’t take our chances in the first half.

“The chances we created we worked hard to create, you have to score goals to win football matches and goals change games, as we’ve found out in the last two games.

“Last week we were a point off the play-offs and have now lost two games that teams we should be beating in my opinion. 

“Life looks pretty tough and difficult at the minute going forward, we’ve got the team at the top of the division next as opposed to the team at the bottom of the table.

“You never know in football, we could go and beat Leeds on Saturday.

“There’s no defence to missing the chances we’ve missed in the last two games, but the teams had to play this week were three of the form teams before lockdown.

“But we should have got points from both of these games in my opinion.”

Dominic Samuel, recalled to the starting line-up for the game at Oakwell, missed golden opportunities in both halves, while Adam Armstrong twice went close with the score at 0-0.

And Mowbray added: “It was similar to the weekend, we knew that we would have to weather a storm in the first 15 minutes, we know how good Barnsley are at playing through the lines with some short, sharp, bright football.

“We had to see that out, dominated the game, created chances, should have scored, but didn’t take our chances and came in at 0-0 which I don’t think was a true reflection of the game. We should have been infront but weren’t clinical.

“We created more chances than we did against Wigan but didn’t finish them. Second half, it was a bit stodgy, they made changes, changed formation and the first cross in to the box the smallest man on the pitch heads it in and we were on the back foot.

“We never really recovered from the sending off, we never really threatened on the back of that, similar to Wigan, we have to be more ruthless because I think if we go in front in these games we go on and win them.”