Connor McBride made it five goals in four games to continue Rovers’ unbeaten start to the Premier League 2 season – with the resilience shown in the Southampton victory pleasing boss Billy Barr.

McBride struck with just 12 minutes on the watch, and having dominated the first half, Rovers had to overcome some intense Saints pressure in the second period to seal the victory.

It meant a second clean sheet in four games for Barr’s side, who had beaten Manchester City and Leicester City, as well as drawing with Manchester United, prior to their long trip south.

They returned to East Lancashire with another three points to their name, and now have 10 points from four games to sit third in the standings.

“I’m happy for them, because they’ve shown different elements of their game,” Barr said.

“First half, we were really good and caused Southampton problems with really good play. We had 10 really good chances in the first half – the only downside was we only took one of them, so the game was still there for both teams.

“In the second half, Southampton were dominant really and were on top of us. But the lads have shown good resilience to win the game in the end.

“We were under the cosh for long periods and when we did have the ball we gave it away really cheaply, but overall I’m really pleased for the group that they got the win and a clean sheet.”

Rovers travel to bottom side West Ham United on Friday looking to extend their unbeaten run.

They had to do without Luke Brennan and Bradley Lyons at the weekend, after they were needed for first-team duties, but Barr feels his group are playing with confidence and keen to extend their unbeaten start.

“We’re in a good place as a group and they can take confidence from it,” he told the club website.

“I spoke to them again at half-time about trying to replicate our first-half performance in the second half and while unfortunately we didn’t do that from a footballing perspective, the resilience that you need to win football matches was there on the other side.

“Overall I’m really, really pleased for them as a group.”