Rovers are putting the rest of the Championship on notice after another four-goal demolition: play into their hands and they’ll make you pay.

Derby County didn’t heed the warning last month in a 4-0 rout, and Coventry fell into the same trap. Some could call it admirable the way the hosts continued to try and play out from the back when a man down, others foolish, as they simply invited on a Rovers side who didn’t need asking twice.

Tony Mowbray’s men were at their scintillating best, punishing the naivety of another newly-promoted side, giving them a hiding similar to that of Wycombe Wanderers.

The opening weeks of the season have been a mixture of fun and frustrating, feast or famine in terms of both goals scored and conceded. Three thumping wins have been a joy to behold, goals oozing class, and manipulation of the ball of which hasn’t been seen for some years.

However, seven points from six games wasn’t the return to back up such a bright and enterprising start. Rovers hadn’t got the results their play had deserved, but that’s when the belief and mindset in what is being asked needs to shine through in an unforgiving league.

Rovers have craved a true identity for some time, and how pleasing it is they have settled upon a philosophy and a mindset that is focused more on the opposition worrying about them, rather than vice versa.

They have a clear way of playing, one the manager will continue to drum into his players, and one they’re seemingly taking on board and enjoying. Players have, and understand, their role in the team.

From the first whistle, just as they did at Watford and for the majority of matches this season, they have looked to play with an authority, helped by having players with the ability to dictate proceedings.

Rovers have been talked about in glowing terms by so many opposition sides, Watford’s Vladimir Ivic in midweek describing them as certainly the best team his side have faced.

An easy compliment to pay after you have come away with three points possibly, but there appears to be a growing feeling within the division that Rovers are genuine contenders.

Big wins will make waves through the league, and that was clear previously with the set-up of Cardiff City and Nottingham Forest on the back of those thumping wins over Wycombe and Derby.

Mark Robins looked on with envy as Rovers were able to make changes before, and during, the match, and this season will be very much a survival of the fittest in what is a condensed schedule for the notoriously challenging and competitive Championship.

Mowbray is hoping those deadline day arrivals will push the squad to new heights. Ryan Nyambe and Amari’i Bell now have genuine competition in the full back positions, while in midfield and further forward, things will only hot up as the injured players come closer to returning.

The manager has continued to try and drive standards and in empty stadiums it’s clear just how much instruction comes from the sidelines, something Mowbray says is down to working with a young group.

But that brings with it an energy and enthusiasm which makes them so exciting to watch when they’re on form, but it’s that consistency that Mowbray will look, and strive, for, having seen his side blow hot and cold, and fall down when trying to break into that top six previously.

The deadline day arrivals, and the extra competition they bring, will hopefully cure that, and there were encouraging signs at St Andrew’s of things coming together, albeit in the context of playing against 10 men for so long.

The game hinged on a split-second decision of Coventry defender Michael Rose in the 14th minute, pushing Ben Brereton to the floor after his first touch from a superb Joe Rankin-Costello diagonal took him into the area.

Adam Armstrong, denied in the midweek defeat at Watford slotted home the spot-kick and moments after Matt Godden had hit the post for the Sky Blues, Rovers were a goal, and a man, to the good.

Their extra quality had started to shine through even before that, and the only frustration of the first half was the succession of chances that were created, but missed, Lewis Holtby guilty of sending a shot wide having been denied by a smart Marko Marosi save.

But any concerns that those missed opportunities could come back to haunt them evaporated four minutes into the second half when a neat turn and pass from Brereton put Armstrong in the clear as he finished for his second of the afternoon.

As the spaces began to open up, and Coventry became more ragged, Rovers sensed blood and added a third midway through the second period as Brereton squared for Harvey Elliott to find the corner with his first senior goal.

And he was thoroughly enjoying himself by the time he and Holtby engaged in some one-touch flicks before the Liverpool loanee teed up Sam Gallagher to rattle home a fourth.

Even then Mowbray was still barking orders at his team, as was Holtby on the pitch, a player who’s developed into a leader on the park with both his voice, and fine left foot.

The contest may well have been over from the moment Armstrong converted the penalty after Rose’s red card, but the remainder of the game gave us an insight into the mindset and focus of the manager who continues to try and drive high standards.