Rovers boss Tony Mowbray revealed the players had felt his wrath for the ‘unacceptable’ aspects of Tuesday night’s defeat at Barnsley – but he’d stopped short of saying exactly what he thought.

Mowbray said he had to rein in some of his feelings with Rovers back in action so quickly, but couldn’t hide his disappointment at seeing another opportunity go begging.

Back-to-back defeats at Wigan and Barnsley, both by 2-0 scorelines, have damaged Rovers’ play-off hopes. They will hope not fatally, but now face three tough looking games in a row with home games against top two Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion sandwiched by a trip to play-off chasing Cardiff City.

Mowbray felt the first goal, scored by Conor Chaplin, was wholly avoidable, as was Ben Brereton’s red card, while the inability to take the chances that came their way in the second part of the first half, and early stages of the second, proved decisive.

However, the manager accepted responsibility for his role in the back-to-back defeats as their play-off hopes took a significant blow.

He said: “You have a manager who’s trying to find the words not to give them my true thoughts because there’s another game in three days.

“We have to stick together, we were depleted again, but I have to take the positives from, it, yet they felt the wrath of my voice at the unacceptable parts, one ball in to the box and a 5’6 guy heads it in our net after we’d missed chance after chance after chance. These two results have been hugely frustrating and disappointing for us.

“We’re all in it together, we win and lose together, I take responsibility, I’m the manager. It’s frustrating because four days ago we were a point outside the play-offs and fully believing we were going to put ourselves in that frame.

“These two results have been hugely frustrating and disappointing for us.”

Adam Armstrong was recalled to the starting line-up, while Dominic Samuel was given just a fourth start of the season, with Sam Gallagher and Ben Brereton dropping to the bench.

Despite creating a succession of excellent chances, Rovers failed to find that elusive goal, and in doing so have now failed to score in four of their last six matches.

Armstrong leads the way on 12 this season, and with Bradley Dack unable to add to his 10 goals in all competition, Gallagher is Rovers’ next highest scorer with five.

Mowbray has mixed and matched his forward line in a bid to find the right formula, but was again left to reflect on a blank in front of goal.

He added: “There’s a lot of working going in on the training and footballers, particularly strikers, live and die by their goals. That’s the message that’s coming loud and clear, be more selfish and take the chances when they come.

“You have to appreciate when to roll it square for someone to tap in to an empty net and when to whack it in the bottom corner.

“They’re all good lads, they’re all working hard, but on matchdays the ball has to go in the back of the net.

“At this moment, for whatever reason, it’s not quite falling right, and it’s frustrating times for us.

“I feel as if they’re all lads who have got plenty of growth in them, but they have to start executing and putting the ball in the back of the net because if we go ahead in these games, we can keep playing, not need to go chasing.

“We missed chances and they scored theirs. Someone who’s 5’6 gets inbetween our two six foot plus centre halves and heads it in and it’s hugely frustrating for us.”