Four talking points from Rovers’ 4-0 win at Coventry City.


We’ve had false dawns before with Ben Brereton, sometimes too easily turning to the positives in a bid to try and justify the price-tag.

For Tony Mowbray, he’s always been firm in the belief that Brereton will turn out to be a sound investment for the club, though accepts he will get judged differently because of the outlay.

However, it was interesting to think that when Rovers submitted their 24-man squad to the EFL after the transfer window closed, Brereton didn’t have to be registered because of his age.

Still only 21, he appears to have grown into his body better, able and willing to engage in contact, and has become a better player for it.

Sometimes he can telegraph his preference to cut in on his right side when playing from the left, but knowing what he’s going to do and stopping has proven a different thing for opposition defenders at times this season.

He had a hand in the first three goals, but it was the way he turned and fed Adam Armstrong for Rovers’ second that earned him real praise from the manager. His first touch is much more secure.

He worked right to the final whistle, with no let-up, and had a late chance found the back of the net, rather than the keepers’ gloves, it would have topped off an outstanding afternoon.



Rovers have now scored 16 times in seven Championship fixtures – 13 of those coming in wins over Wycombe, Derby and Coventry.

They had managed 101 shots in their opening six matches, and had 24 here, and in truth no-one could have argued had they put seven or eight past the Sky Blues.

Missed chances can be forgiven when they run out 4-0 winners, but the opportunities they spurned in the first half could well have come back to bite them in different circumstances.

Rovers have shown they can blow teams away when given the time and space to do so, and Coventry were a little naïve in their approach, not least having gone down to 10 men and still playing short goal kicks which simply played into the visitors’ hands.

It took Rovers 15 matches last season to top 16 goals, and they could easily have had a lot more so far this.

All four goals were scored by forward players, with Adam Armstrong moving back to the top of the Championship scoring charts, taking his tally to seven, while Harvey Elliott scored his first senior goal and in doing so became the club’s fourth youngest ever scorer.

Sam Gallagher rounded things off with his first of the campaign which will hopefully bode well moving forwards.



Derrick Williams lost his place in the side through no fault of his own, but got his place back quicker than he may have expected as Daniel Ayala missed out with a groin strain.

Ayala and Darragh Lenihan was the partnership most thought would be Tony Mowbray’s first choice, and in time, it may prove to be the case.

But as things stand, and on the form over the course of the opening seven games, there’s a good argument to be had that Williams should be first choice, and it’s down to Lenihan and Ayala to compete to partner him.

He’s been involved in all four of Rovers’ clean sheets this season, albeit two of those, against Wycombe and Coventry, came in games when they weren’t overly extended. But whether it be the balance he offers with his left foot, or his ability to bring the ball out of defence, he has been the pick of the three so far.

Tougher tests lie ahead, and Williams will need to prove his form, and fitness, over an extended time, having shown what he can offer at centre back in small sample sizes previously.

Coming up against a physical frontman, and possibly against a side who play two up front, could offer him that stern test that he will probably need to overcome to put forward that case, but the early season signs are good.



Rovers had lost seven of their previous nine away fixtures before arriving at St Andrew’s, but walking away from a second comprehensive victory on the road this season it left you thinking whether their style could be more suited to playing away from Ewood.

Rovers have predominantly fared better at home under Mowbray, the defeat to Nottingham Forest just their third in their last 20 Championship fixtures. However, from their 13 Ewood fixtures in 2020 they have taken 20 points, failing to score in their last two.

They will need to find a way of breaking sides down who arrive at Ewood looking simply to contain, something they struggled with against both Cardiff and Forest. But with the squad available, they have the options to find the answers, and will hope to do just that when the division’s surprise front-runners, Reading, come to town on Tuesday night.