Rovers reporter Rich Sharpe picks out five talking points from the win over Wycombe.


No player in the top four tiers of English football has more league goals in 2020 than Adam Armstrong (15). No player in the Championship has scored more than Adam Armstrong this season (4). It’s now seven goals in his last five starts.

His numbers are stacking up, but still he came away with a feeling he should have had more, denied when one-on-one moments after sealing his second career hat-trick.

A penalty, a close-range tap-in and finish when put clean through by John Buckley are the types of goals Armstrong will need to score to push towards the 20 mark, supplemented by his customary long rangers.

Playing in his favoured centre forward position he will get more chances this season than last, and with his goals having not gone unnoticed, Rovers will need to keep pace with the improvements of the 23-year-old who looks destined for a shot in the Premier League soon.

There are areas for him to work on, but not now having to track back as much as he was when playing out wide, he looks to have added an extra sharpness to his game, reserving his express pace for attacking moves, rather than defensive.

That will surely give him more opportunities to roll out his Angel of the North celebration.


It’s been quite a week for Tyrhys Dolan. It's been a struggle to keep up with his progress and milestones. A senior debut, a first senior start, and now a first league start combined with a first senior goal, all in the space of a week, with a somersault celebration to mark the occasion.

Dolan is direct, quick and a nightmare to defend against. His style of play and inexperience will mean there is inconsistency and dips in form as time goes on, but for now, he’s enjoying his football and Rovers are reaping the unexpected reward.

Mowbray says the players were quick to recognise Dolan’s talent, urging him to be involved with the first-team set-up in pre-season, from which he’s never looked back.

There is an excitement around him, similar to that of the early days for Harry Chapman in 2017 and Joe Rothwell in 2018, but unlike that pair, he hasn’t had to make do with game-changing performances off the bench.

He’s been thrown in, and definitely been able to swim, and the enjoyment on his face, and those around him, has been a joy to see.

Dolan is a fans favourite without actually yet to play infront of any. You can imagine the buzz around him when they get the opportunity. Even Mowbray, so often a man not to get carried away, is excited. That’s a sign in itself that Rovers feel they have unearthed a hidden gem.  


Rovers scored three times in 19 first half minutes and were then left with a decision of whether to keep pressing on, or settle for what they had.

The response was emphatic from the moment Darius Charles was sent off just 11 minutes into the second half, Rovers ending with five goals and 22 shots at goal.

A lack of penetration in the final third cost them at Newcastle, unable to make the most of their territory and domination of the ball, and for Wycombe, it felt like those frustrations were being taken out on them. Wycombe were in the wrong place, and caught Rovers at the wrong time.

By the end it was a case of how many Rovers were going to score, Ryan Allsop coming up with some key saves to keep it just to five. Plucky Wycombe had no answer as Rovers put them to the sword.


The exclusion of Ryan Nyambe from the starting line-up came as a surprise to most, but Mowbray’s explanation was understandable.

He expected Rovers to have plenty of the ball, and while Nyambe’s use of it is vastly improved, his one-on-one defensive qualities were unlikely to be needed too regularly.

It’s for that reason that the manager opted for Joe Rankin-Costello at right back, as well as the fact that Nyambe’s physical data was ‘through the roof’ in the opening two matches, unsurprising given Rovers’ reliance on their full backs in the 4-3-3 system.

Given Nyambe’s recent struggles with hamstring niggles, and a stretched squad already just a week into the season, allowing the Namibian to have a rest was sensible.

There have been times where Nyambe could count himself unfortunate to miss out, not least the early part of last season, but this didn’t feel like a similar situation, no slight on his performances, instead a recognition of his importance to the side.

He'll be back for Derby, that you can guarantee, and plenty more to follow.


Whatever the result, this was Gareth Ainsworth’s day, and he was willing to soak up every aspect of it. From sitting on the Riverside aged six, the disappointment of being released by his boyhood club at 18, but forging a career which saw him play until he’s 40 and now leading Wycombe to the second tier, it’s been quite a ride for Ainsworth.

He’d been back to Ewood just once, that as a player with QPR, but this was his moment in the East Lancashire sun, and he wasn’t going to miss out.

Pre-match he walked the perimeter of the pitch, taking in his surroundings, as well as having a picture with the Rovers badge which adorns the side of the pitch.

During the match there was no doubt where his loyalties lie, he and his Wycombe backroom staff had an intensity on the touchline which made its mark on Mowbray.

Things couldn’t have panned out much worse for his side from the moment they conceded the early penalty, which came during their best spell of the match.

But they will certainly give teams a rough ride this season if you don’t stand up to their challenge, while for Ainsworth, he can go back to wanting Rovers to win again.

His pre-match quotes summed that up.

“To be up against a fantastic and wonderful man in Tony Mowbray, praying that there might be a few fans there as I connect with those Blackburn people so much - it is a place where I became me. Blackburn is my home, I love it, and I can’t wait to go back.”