You have to hand it to the crowd noise being piped in to Ewood Park – it kept going right to the bitter end.

It would have been a quite different story, you would have imagined, had supporters been inside the ground.

The Leeds fans, likely to be 7,500 in number, would have been in buoyant mood as they moved another step closer to promotion, never looking relinquishing the two goal lead they built up for a second time through Mateusz Klich.

By the final whistle they could well have outnumbered the Rovers fans left inside Ewood, many having trudged away to the corner of the Riverside stand, soaked by the rain, and reflecting on a week which has sapped any momentum build up by the win over Bristol City post re-start.

A season which has shown great promise for Rovers is in danger of fizzling out. They remain still four points shy of last season’s tally of 60 points, one they had looked like comfortably eclipsing only a few games ago.

The peaks and troughs to Rovers’ form have been a source of frustration and blighted their progress throughout course of the past two seasons. There has been an inconsistency in team selection, performances, both collectively and individual, and even in an up and down league, they could easily lay claim to being the division’s streakiest team.

Since the re-start, at times the thinking has appeared muddled.

It’s now one win in eight since the victory at Charlton in February, which at the time made it 13 points from a possible 18 and lifted Rovers firmly in to the play-off picture.

The following eight games have brought just one clean sheet, and for a team which has long struggled to win when falling behind, conceding first in each of their last five matches is concerning.

Here, by the final whistle, Rovers were well beaten, and that showed in the players’ body language, battered in to submission by the visitors’ free-flowing movement which sapped the energy from their legs.

If Leeds are setting the standard for the Championship this season, then this showed the work Rovers have to do to get themselves properly in to contention. 

They have remained competitive for large parts of their two years since promotion, but without talisman Bradley Dack, and taking away Adam Armstrong, whose 14 goals this season include three penalties and seven fine strikes from outside the box, it’s been tough going in the final third.

There has been equal frustration between creating chances and taking them. Dominic Samuel and Sam Gallagher won’t need reminding, how costly their misses were in the most recent two defeats, while at Wigan, for all their possession, they struggled to extend goalkeeper David Marshall.

Five of the 11 players who finished the game see their deals at the club expire at the end of the extended season. There is likely to be a greater turnover in the summer than Mowbray would ideally have wanted, but something he would have seen coming for some time.

In a period when finances will undoubtedly be tight, it’s a fine balancing act that Rovers will have in a bid to improve, with issues at both ends of the pitch. It will likely be a case of making more of the options available, rather than seeking a host of new ones.

And that unfortunately is only going to bring more scrutiny on the money splashed out on Ben Brereton and Gallagher in successive summers, with the return so far just six goals between them.

Whether Mowbray uses the final five games to help shape some of those decisions that will follow remains to be seen, but what happens in those games will owe much to the attitude of the players towards them.

Mowbray knows successive mid-table finishes might not be enough to appease some supporters, but he remains positive about the signs he has seen from his team.

The returns of Darragh Lenihan and Lewis Travis were welcomed, but there were more changes to personnel, and formation, back to the 4-2-3-1 we have been accustomed to under Mowbray. These four games have felt something of a muddle at times.

The story could have been different however, and while missed chances weren’t the main talking point from this one, Gallagher failing to hit the target when clean through moments after Leeds’ opening goal, and Lewis Holtby striking the post, were chances that Rovers had to take if they were going to get something out of this one.

Mowbray is wanting to move Rovers towards a more possession-based style, but too many passes went astray, only succeeding in inviting pressure. They tried to go toe-to-toe with the visitors, unlike the approach of most when facing Bielsa’s machine, and while that made for an open game, by the end Rovers were out on their feet and simply chasing shadows.

The opening goal was of their own undoing, Travis robbed of possession by Mateusz Klich who rolled the ball in to the path of Patrick Bamford who had the equally simple job of slotting beyond Christian Walton.

Rovers did respond well to going behind, with excellent chances for Gallagher and Holtby, but Bamford could have added a second midway through the half when he was denied by the post.

Phillips’ free kick was a real moment of quality, and doubled the lead, before Armstrong threatened to haul Rovers back in to it once again with his 14th of the season, another standout strike from the attacker.

But no sooner were Rovers back in to it, that a scuffed Klich shot squirmed beyond Walton and in to the corner via the post, and it very much felt like game over by the 53rd minute.

And while it’s play-off hopes over, the season still has five games left to play, enough time to set the agenda heading in to the summer.