Rovers are falling short of the top six, and though not wanting to sound ‘like a broken record’ Tony Mowbray is continuing to look at the bigger picture.

Defeat to Leeds United at the weekend, and victory for tonight’s opponents Cardiff City, left Rovers eight points shy of the play-off spots with just five games remaining. It’s been a frustrating period for Mowbray whose side had moved right in to contention with victory over Bristol City in their first game since the re-start.

However, three defeats on the spin have seen them slide out of contention, but still with the aim of finishing inside the top 10 for just the third time since relegation from the Premier League, and improve on last season’s 60 points. Peaks and troughs to Rovers’ form have hindered their progress since promotion, with three successive defeats for the first time this season coming when they had moved within one point of the top six.

And Mowbray, who is looking for his side to have larger spells of possession in matches, said: “I work on processes and as I’ve said to the team, I’m conscious of sounding like a broken record because people get bored of the same stuff, but we’re trying to improve the team on a weekly basis.

“Yet when the results don’t go for you it’s easy for people to say there’s no improvement, ‘what’s going on?’

“For me, we’re trying to make this team better, we’ll hopefully be a team that controls football matches and when you see us play you see the same patterns week in, week out.

“It’s just whether we can take the chances and score the goals.

“I would prefer to control the game, my teams over 20 years have mainly controlled games, yet at this club we didn’t have the players, in my opinion, to control football matches so we had to find a way of trying to win to get out of the trouble that we were in.

“I’m now trying to build a team so somewhere down the line, whoever we play, when we have the ball it looks safe, as though we’re in charge.

“Generally the team creating the most chances, with the most domination around the opposition box, will win, percentage wise, more games.”

“10 days ago we were right on the cusp of the play-offs and everyone was believing something special could happen, that we could win some games and get ourselves right in the mix.”

Mowbray has since re-watched the defeat to Leeds United, and believes big moments in the game did go against his side.

He admits that on another day Lewis Travis could have won a foul when losing the ball to Mateusz Klich for the opening Leeds goal, and that his side were unfortunate to have a goal chalked off in the first half, which added to the frustration.

“The goal that we had disallowed, watching it back, it’s pretty soft, goodness me. There’s a fair argument that Travis was bundled over for the first one. Things go both ways in your mind, that goal could have been chalked off. Those are fine margins,” he explained.

“People aren’t interested but as a football manager it’s your job to break down the game, what went well, what didn’t. It depends what spectacles you’ve got on, you’ll get some that go for you, some that don’t, and on Saturday it didn’t feel as if we got the breaks.

“Some days they go for you and you don’t mention them and you get on with it.

“We’re all frustrated. We’re very passionate about our jobs and what we do every day.

“We have to go and give everything we’ve got for the cause, for the football club and for the supporters who follow us.

“We’re frustrated, disappointed, the reality is that ultimately we haven’t been good enough, whether that’s taking chances, keeping the ball out of the net at the other end, it’s football.

“Over the 46 games you’ll either be a top six team, a bottom six team, or somewhere in the middle and at this moment we are falling a bit short of being a top six team.”