A combination of what he sees in training, as well as on matchdays, gives Tony Mowbray the confidence that Rovers will be in for a successful season.

Mowbray has continued to stress he has full faith in his squad, despite an up and down start to the season that has seen them take 16 points from their opening 12 matches and leaves them 14th.

The manager has high hopes and lofty ambitions for his squad however, and feels that getting players back from injury will be key to their chances.

“It’s a combination of the two,” Mowbray said when asked whether it was in training, or the opening 12 games, that gave him such strong faith in his squad.

“Training has been exceptionally good, we just keep repeating what we do and there’s always two teams playing and you’re not sure what the opposition are going to do until the game starts.

“You can have an idea of their formation, their philosophy of play, we’re trying to hone ours.

“It’s a way of playing that we believe will give us positive results moving forward, a way that the players are buying into have want to make it happen.

“It’s something I can feel in the group that when we get it right we’re really good.

“This is why it’s a journey so when other teams prevent us from doing the basics of what we’re trying to do we need to find the answers and we will.

“The longer the season goes on we’ll have all the answers I hope and scoring goals and creating chances and hopefully winning matches.

“That’s why every game is exciting, the next challenge is in front of us, can we solve this conundrum against this team?

“I think most games we’re dominating the ball, as I talked a few months ago that’s what we wanted to do, we wanted to be more ball-orientated, see if we could dominate football matches.

“That doesn’t mean that you’re always going to win, as it hasn’t a couple of times this season when we’ve had over 60 per cent possession but not managed to win games at times.”

Rovers assembled their strongest squad for some time after a busy end to the transfer window, and they have needed every member to play their part so far given the number of enforced changes.

That has raised expectations, with Mowbray setting out their aims for the top six, and believes there is plenty to be excited about.

He added: “I'm happy with the team, I trust this team, I really look forward to every game. 

“We did go through a spell where the team was decimated, the picture is looking better now and I think we're going to have a really strong season, we will cause teams problems, score goals.

“Over 46 games we'll finish where we finish, I haven't got a crystal ball and I hope we  get stronger as the weeks goes on.

“I think we're going to have a strong season.”

Captain Darragh Lenihan says while it’s good to have the backing of the manager, he says there is confidence too among the squad that Rovers will enjoy a strong season.

“As players, we all believe,” Lenihan said.

“You look around the building and you have a few players for each position with the squad the gaffer and his recruitment team have assembled.

“They have given us every chance to go out and do the business and it’s up to us as players to go out on the pitch and it give everything we have.

“We’ve been a bit unlucky with Covid and different injuries but as we come together as a squad I can’t see why we can’t be up there challenging for the top six this season.”

Rovers will be without their three most defensively-minded midfielders for tonight’s game at Preston, with Corry Evans and Lewis Travis injured, and Bradley Johnson suspended.

That is an area of the pitch that was key to their big wins earlier in the campaign, but the one that has most struggled in defeats, not helped by the constant enforced changes.

“It’s a balance for each game and we haven’t been able to really put out the team we would have liked every week, because of Covid issues and the injuries and suspensions that are starting to kick in,” Mowbray added.

“It’s a work in progress and one we’re excited about. When the team get to a level of robustness, can stay fit and keep going, the Covid situation dissipates away, I think the team that we put on the pitch will win a lot of football matches.

“It’s a period we have to go through and work on how we want to do it and how we want to play, what everyone’s job is and where they need to be.

“I’m confident we’re going to get there and it’s going to be an exciting period in front of us.”