Rovers have shown no shortage of promise, performances, both individual and collective, have been impressive, they rate highly on so many statistical metrics, but they are still to shake off the mid-table position they have had largely since promotion from League One.

A third draw of the season means Tony Mowbray’s side are still to beat a side above them in the league table, something they will aim to put right at Preston North End on Tuesday. That means it is a feeling, rather than based on hard evidence over a sustained spell, that leaves you with the belief that Rovers will be among the top six this season.

It is still early in the season, just 12 games in, and over the course of the next month, we will know so much more about this team when the half point will be upon us.

By then, it is hoped we will be able to see greater consistency in both team selection, and results, despite the Kenilworth Road draw making it three matches unbeaten.

Victory over QPR was their first points of the season when the opposition had scored, while Sam Gallagher’s equaliser gave Rovers their first point of the season when conceding the first goal.

But they need to start turning more of the fine margins into their favour in a bid to climb the table. Three points against QPR moved them up five places to 12th, but in a packed Championship, a point at Luton actually saw them drop two places.

Rovers are playing catch-up after a stop-start opening, and we are still waiting for them to fully click into gear and fulfil the promise that has been evident in spells.

Throughout this tenure, balance has been one of Mowbray’s many buzzwords. When Rovers have got it right this season, they have cracked it, but whether it be selection based, or enforced, there have been occasions where players haven’t looked comfortable in what’s been asked of them.

Like Corry Evans, Tom Trybull didn’t look settled playing in one of the two wider central midfield roles, his name one constantly bellowed out from the touchline, and the Norwich City loanee’s skill set didn’t look accustomed to what was being asked of him.

With Bradley Johnson screening the back four, it left Joe Rothwell as the point of difference in the trio, and he was by far Rovers’ main attacking threat. Whether it be his touch on the ball, or his ability to isolate players when one-on-one, he was the star of the show.

While his numbers are yet to stack up in terms of goals and assists, something Rothwell concedes will continue to be the question mark against him, his quality is undenied, his place in the side as secure now, at least in a 4-3-3 system, as it has been during his time at the club.

Another positive remains goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski, the Belgian making a fine one-handed save from Sonny Bradley at 0-0, and his commanding presence makes Rovers less susceptible to the set piece threat they are without him.

Not a pre-match press conference or 90 minutes appears to pass without issues arising and at times it’s felt like one issue after the other. Here, for example, no sooner had Johnson picked up his fifth yellow card of the season, triggering a one match ban, Joe Rankin-Costello and his troublesome hamstring forced him off injured.

Johnson’s absence, as well as injuries could to Corry Evans and Lewis Travis, will leave Rovers without a true defensive-minded midfielder at Deepdale, another equation for Mowbray to solve.

The early stages at Kenilworth Road had a ‘first game after the international break’ feel, particularly for Rovers, who struggled to get out of the blocks.

Rothwell was at the heart of much of their good play, though doubts over the referee were growing through a succession of inconsistent calls, not least booking the Rovers midfielder for a foul similar to that which Glen Rea was simply warned moments before.

Rovers did have the ball in the net, Adam Armstrong flagged offside when turning in after a Scott Wharton header was saved, while at the other Kaminski was untroubled, helped by a fine Darragh Lenihan block from Elliott Lee.

The introduction of five substitutes felt like it would have a big say in the game, and few would have predicted the frantic nature of the closing stages given the cagey opening hour.

The hosts took the lead, sub James Collins’ shot turned beyond Kaminski by the sliding Luke Berry.

Gallagher hauled Rovers level within three minutes, showing good movement to get across his marker as Barry Douglas headed a Harvey Elliott cross into the attacker’s path as he turned it into the corner.

The Luton keeper was the busier thereafter, first showing good handling to hold onto a swerving Rothwell shot, before denying Gallagher’s left foot strike, then getting to his feet quickly to deny the follow-up of Rothwell.

The contentious moments of the game were saved for the four minutes of added time, with referee Gavin Ward taking centre stage. In the space of 30 seconds he adjudged Armstrong not to have been bundled to the floor when racing through on goal, despite Norrington-Davies making no genuine attempt for the ball, and then making the quite audacious call to book Brereton for diving when it appeared certain he had been body-checked by Martin Cranie.

The attacker showed his displeasure, as did the Rovers players at the final whistle, and Mowbray post-match. That added to the frustration and the feeling an opportunity had passed them by, it taking Rovers to fall behind to up their intensity levels, which had they shown from the start, would likely have seen them victorious.