Having lost to newly-promoted duo Charlton and Luton at Ewood last season, as well as only edging past Barnsley, this was one of Tony Mowbray’s self-titled ‘dangerous games’.

At the end of a week where they had performed well, without reward, at both Bournemouth and Newcastle, it was points they required here.

One thing that will help Rovers launch a more sustained top six challenge this season will be an improved mindset, both raising, and delivering, on expectations.

Everything about Rovers here, was positive. The tone was set by the attacking team named by Mowbray at 2pm and followed right through the next three hours as only the final whistle spared Wycombe who were punched into submission by the endless wave of blue and white attacks.

There was a ruthless edge to Rovers that had been missing at times last season, and already this, relentless in their work and not willing to settle for what they had. Indeed there was even a slight dissatisfaction that from the opportunities created, and the 23 goalbound efforts they had, five goals was the result.

While it would take even the harshest critic to level that, or indeed any, criticism at them, Mowbray knows his side will need to maintain the highest standards if they are to break through the ceiling that has so far proved beyond them.

To do that they will need the new faces that arrive before the October 16 deadline to add an improved dimension to the squad and for those part of the efforts of 2019/20 and before to step up.

2020 has been a year to forget for most, not least the scorer of Rovers’ fourth goal, Derrick Williams, his run of three consecutive starts his longest since November 2019.

For the other two players on the scoresheet, on an individual level, it couldn’t have been much better.

Adam Armstrong’s treble, the second senior hat-trick of his career, made it 15 in all competitions this calendar year and already five in three starts this season. No player in the top four tiers in English football has scored more.

He is the man whose stood up in the absence of Bradley Dack, and his quest to break 20 goals this season will be boosted by the kind of finishes we saw here.

Tyrhys Dolan has had a few weeks he’ll never forget as the milestones keep clocking up. Senior debut, first senior start at St James’ Park and now a goal on his first Championship start, followed by a trademark somersault celebration, all within the space of a week.

There’s often a little bit of luck attached with a young player getting their first opportunity around the senior team, how long they stay depends on how much they make of it.

Dolan has taken to the first-team stage better than anyone, even the confident 18-year-old, could have imagined. His emergence has been an unplanned, but very welcome, bonus.

Wycombe’s approach was never going to be subtle, Rovers knew what would be coming, with goalkeeper Ryan Allsop delivering free kicks from close to the halfway line reminiscent of Paul Robinson in the Sam Allardyce Ewood era.

The opening stages were a little uncomfortable for Rovers, but they settled into the game from the moment Armstrong confidently found the corner from a penalty won the dancing feet of Dolan.

Confidence began to flow as a neat 20th minute move saw Rovers double their lead. Ben Brereton and then Lewis Holtby helped create the opportunity for Dolan and although Allsop was equal to his first effort, the rebound was coolly slotted home.

At times it was Rovers against Allsop, though it was the post which denied Joe Rankin-Costello moments later, before Armstrong got his second of the match.

By the 33rd minute it was 3-0 as a swift break saw Brereton feed Joe Rothwell whose fine low cross was tapped in by Armstrong at the far post, evidence of the blistering pace they possess in the forward areas.

Armstrong would have had a free run at goal 11 minutes into the second half were Darius Charles not left with another choice in his mind than to haul the striker down. A red card was the result and that left Rovers with the conundrum of how they would play out the remaining 35 minutes.

The response was emphatic, go for the jugular and try and score as many goals as possible.

A fourth arrived midway through the half, Williams tapping home as Rovers queued up to score after Rothwell’s deflected shot was saved.

Then came the crowning moment seven minutes from time, a sumptuous John Buckley pass putting Armstrong through and on his left foot he slotted the ball beyond Allsop.

To his credit the Wycombe goalkeeper got the better of Armstrong moments later, this time on his right foot after breaking clear of the last defender, as Rovers had to settle for five.

Sterner tests and Ewood examinations lie ahead, and the squad looking stretched just seven days into the season is far from ideal. What we learned about Rovers here was more about their mentality than qualities on the ball.

It’s easy to show for the ball and play with confidence when the game is won. But there looked a mean streak about Rovers here, a willing to work for a clean sheet, and no let up in attack.