Tony Mowbray feels Rovers are showing signs of progress but knows that must be backed up by results.

Rovers dominated from start to finish against St James’ Park but exited the Carabao Cup after a 1-0 defeat, with Ryan Fraser’s goal 10 minutes before the break proving the difference.

That came from one of a number of breakaways the home side had, with Rovers looking susceptible at times on the break, but they were controlled in possession and dominated the ball, and territory.

Where they fell down was in the final third, with just three of their 15 goal attempts forcing Mark Gillespie into a save, meaning for the second game running, after an opening day defeat at Bournemouth, Rovers had little to show for their efforts.

Mowbray said the positives came in the form of how the players have taken what’s been asked of them, but knows there needs to be more end product to their intricate approach play.

He said: “We’ve been talking about cutting edge, final third. We had enough opportunities, got into enough good areas, areas that we’ve talked about for a long time, where you should be able to pick someone out to score.

“It’s a work-in progress for us, but I do think if we keep the standards up, the levels high, that we’re going to win a lot of games.

“We can’t keep missing the opportunities and getting into the areas to damage the opposition, so it was a frustrating night, similar to Saturday (at Bournemouth).

“We didn’t deserve to, but we managed to lose the game somehow.”

The next stage of Rovers’ development is to develop a winning mentality, making the most of their promising spells in games, having not done so in their opening two games.

But unable to fault his players, Mowbray added: “I’m happy with them, I was on Saturday, their work ethic, ability to take on information on how we need to play, where they need to stand, where we need to go with the ball, lots of positives.

“But you have to find a way to win football matches, that’s the job, that’s why although the team will grow in confidence, we have to win.

“It’s a bit sour when you talk about how well we did and how we many chances we had and how much possession we had, yet we got beat.

“With total respect, Brucey has been in this game longer than I have and they didn’t look like they were interested in possession, they wanted to be solid and scored from one breakaway they had.

“It was a frustrating night but lots of positives from the team. We need to keep building on that.”