Rovers reporter Rich Sharpe picks out three talking points from the defeat to Leeds United. 



Rovers have lost three matches in a row for the first time since March-April 2019. They will hope to follow this run of form with how they did that, by reeling off four consecutive wins.

However, that appears unlikely as the season looks to be fizzling out as another mid-table finish. But that’s not to say Rovers don’t have things to play for in their final five games.

The first objective will be to improve on last season’s 60 points, still sitting four points shy of that mark, while a top 10 finish would represent improvement and likely be what many fans would have expected at the beginning of the campaign.

Within their next three matches Rovers face two teams with top six ambitions in Cardiff City and Millwall, as well as automatic promotion hunting West Brom at Ewood Park next week.

Then on the final day they travel to Luton Town who will hope by then to still have hope of staying in the division.

But it’s not just for the integrity of the league that Rovers will want to finish on a high.

This summer is expected to be like no other in terms of the way the transfer market will be affected, and Rovers won’t be alone in facing tough calls. So what happens in the next five games could help shape Tony Mowbray’s thinking.



Rovers have faced 17 shots on target in their four games since the re-start and conceded eight times. While you can’t lay all the blame for Rovers’ defensive troubles since the re-start, it’s been a tough time for Christian Walton.

He won’t reflect well on Bristol City’s goal at Ewood Park, getting two strong hands to Jamie Paterson’s header without being able to keep it out, while he dropped a cross under pressure in the lead-up to Wigan’s opener the following week.

Against Barnsley he did make some smart saves, and did well to keep out Barry Douglas’ free kick against Leeds, though letting Mateusz Klich’s shot slip through his hands, moments after Adam Armstrong’s strike reduced the arrears, was a real disappointment.

He was also fortunate not to see red when he hauled down Patrick Bamford on the edge of the box late on.

Walton won’t be at Rovers next season,  that has been clear from the moment he signed his season-long loan last July, with the 24-year-old to return to Brighton.

He was one of five players who finished the game against Leeds whose deal will come to an end when the extended season finishes in three weeks.

Jayson Leutwiler, Rovers’ back-up option in goal is also out of contract, while Joe Hilton behind him has no senior experience as yet.

That makes it unlikely we’ll see a change in goal before the end of the season, with Walton likely to keep up his ever-present record.

But goalkeeper remains high, if not top, of Rovers’ priority list this summer.



It is now seven goals in 2020 for Adam Armstrong, with his free kick against Leeds the seventh time he’s scored from outside the box this season.

Adding his four assists to his goals, only Brentford’s mercurial playmaker Said Benrahma with 14 has contributed more goals to his team during the calendar year.

No sooner had Rovers launched their goal of the season for competition, Armstrong added another contender to the list, with a stunning free kick which reduced the arrears to one early in the second half.

His goals, and his proficiency to hit the target from long range, have been a key feature in Rovers’ attacking play since the injury to Bradley Dack.

In the calendar year, they have managed 24 goals, Armstrong having a hand in 11 of those. Following his seven goals, the next top scorer is Darragh Lenihan with three, Lewis Holtby, Tosin Adarabioyo, Sam Gallagher and own goals have two, while Corry Evans, Lewis Travis, Bradley Johnson, John Buckley, Dominic Samuel and Stewart Downing have all chipped in with one each.

Rovers have shared the goals around, but need to find a more regular source if they’re to challenge the top six.

Despite the talk about Leeds’ vulnerability from set plays, Rovers failed to record a single corner for the first time since the opening day of last season at Ipswich Town.