Rovers reporter Rich Sharpe picks out five talking points from the 3-2 defeat at Bournemouth.



Rovers’ nine post-lockdown matches produced 32 goals, their two already in 2020/21 have brought 10. A 3-2 cup win kicked off their campaign, their Championship fixtures starting with a 3-2 defeat.

Interestingly, three out of the last four meetings between Rovers and Bournemouth have ended 3-2 to the home side.

Rovers will focus their recruitment on the defence the remaining weeks of the transfer window, and rightly so, but that means the bulk of the scoring will come down to players at the club last season.

Adam Armstrong topped the scoring charts in 2019/20 and has started this season well, with two in two, but Rovers will hope to have Sam Gallagher in the next week, and Bradley Dack in the six weeks, to supplement the goalscoring prowess of Rovers’ No.7.

There was no striker on the bench, Tyrhys Dolan and Joe Rothwell the most attacking of the seven substitutes, as Harry Chapman was left sitting in the stands.

Their style of play is set up to score goals though, so the concerns for now, as they have been for some time, remain on keeping the goals against column down.



Whether it was his pink boots, or being comfortable to kick with both feet, Thomas Kaminski didn’t look fazed on his first appearance in English football.

He was forced to pick the ball out of his net on three occasions, but no blame could be attached to the Belgian who made a stunning stop to deny Dominic Solanke.

First impressions often matter, and in terms of profile, size, stature and communication, the Belgian looks to be a good fit.

His distribution was sound, a quick-thinking throw to Ben Brereton saw Rovers spring a counter-attack in the first half, and his kicking was precise throughout.

He will have more saves to make moving forward, but all eyes were on Rovers’ sole senior signing to date, and he had a promising start.



Rovers fielded a back four they first did two years ago, while Amari’i Bell remains Tony Mowbray’s only defensive signing to still be at the club.

He wants that to change sooner rather than later, and will need to, with Rovers  in need of new blood in their backline.

For the most part, they defended well however, restricting Bournemouth to efforts from distance, the only problem being three of those whistled past Kaminski and in to the back of the net.

Rovers are looking to play an expansive brand of football which relies on their full backs pushing forward and providing attacking width, as Ryan Nyambe showed when creating the second equaliser for Adam Armstrong.

But not holding back at 2-2, and rightly so given how on top they were, they were caught on the break, Arnaut Danjuma exploiting the space where Nyambe would normally  be, after a change-over of possession, to curl in the winner.

A 4-3-3 formation will require organisation behind the ball, something Rovers fell down on more than individual mistakes at the back.



The last nine games of last season after the re-start felt like something of a box-ticking exercise just to get promotion and relegation decided.

There was an acceptance a lack of fans was a short-term measure, but the longer the game goes on without them the more it suffers.

Fans provide the occasion. Getting in to the Vitality Stadium was a chore, understandable given all the measure in place, but once finally inside the ground there was none of that opening day feel.

There was the stereotypical warm weather associated with the first fixture, even a month later than usual, but the lack of supporters was more prevalent than ever.

No roar as the referee blew the first whistle to signal the start of the season, no noise to greet the five goals, nothing.

Rovers had hoped to welcome some supporters back to Ewood Park for their first home fixture against Wycombe, and while that seems unlikely, it remains the biggest question mark surrounding the game.



Targets identified, negotiations taken place, but three players have now come close to joining Rovers without signing on the dotted line.

A focus on the European market could now become even more prominent after the failures to land Cedric Kipre and Daniel Ayala, with still at least one central defender, and a left back, needed.

They’re the bare minimum of requirements for Rovers in the remaining weeks of the window in terms of outfield players, while a back-up goalkeeper to Kaminski will also be brought in, with Aynsley Pears continuing to be pursued.

If Rovers do go down the European route, then those deals will need to be finalised by the earlier window of October 5, with domestic deals having an extended window through to October 16.

Quarantine rules would likely rule them out of featuring for two weeks after joining, but that’s not a concern to Mowbray who is just wanting to add the necessary quality.

Rovers were always likely to start the season with an incomplete squad, all efforts now must be on ensuring the same conversations aren’t being had heading in to the final days of the window.